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Kirkstall Forge

Two students go on to full time employment through the Forging Futures Campus

27.03.2018 | News

Designed to give participants an introduction to construction skills and provide exposure to employment opportunities in the property industry, five of these first participants have already secured employment or apprenticeship interviews with the remainder pursuing pathways to further training and education with Leeds College of Building.

One of those to complete the course was 16 year old Sam Vandenbriele. He said:

"The two-week employability course at Kirkstall Forge helped me to gain more interview confidence. I got to try plastering at Leeds College of Building as well as the chance to design logos and signs on a marketing course. It has really helped me to decide which career I want to forge and has provided valuable work experience and interview opportunities to help me get there."
Sam Vandenbriele
Forging Futures Campus Student

We also received the following feedback from his mother, Jo ‘We just wanted to take the opportunity to personally thank you for the support and guidance that you have given to Sam.

Sam didn’t want to stay in full-time formal education post-16, but wanted an opportunity which would allow him to learn in a practical way but at the same time work towards a professional career in the building industry. You have gone above and beyond, using your network and skills to provide Sam with excellent insights into the building trade and finally successfully placing him in an apprenticeship, which after the first week he is thoroughly enjoying and feeling supported by the team he has been placed with.’

Sean O’Toole also took part in the Employability & Skills Course and gave the following feedback ‘When I was first introduced to the course, I didn’t really have a vision of what I wanted to do. This course has given me the opportunity to meet some of the most inspirational and hardworking people I’ve ever met. I always felt like someone was there to keep me going. Throughout the duration of the course, I became more and more confident in myself as a person and improved how I work with others. As a result of this course I am now working as an IT apprentice at an incredible company filled with caring and passionate people. I could not be given a greater gift.”

Sean’s parents were delighted with the course and said  ‘it was packed full of useful information and ideas for employability but more importantly it was led with such enthusiasm and inspiration. Sean was inspired by everything he did, heard and learnt and came home each day fired with enthusiasm.’ They added ‘we know that Sean would still be looking for gainful employment if it hadn’t been for the effort that you put in, finding and securing him his first interview which gave him the experience to get his current apprenticeship with his second interview.’

His youth worker Charlie Holdway added ‘After he became NEET, Sean was engaged via a home visit. After some talk, and a great introductory visit, Sean agreed that he would attend Kirkstall Forge for the Employability & Skills Course. Sean really enjoyed the course, and attended every day. He told me that it has improved his confidence and his skill base – he really valued the additional support following the course, where he received help in finding apprenticeships to apply for. Following a couple of interviews, he is now employed on an apprenticeship doing exactly what he wants to do! In his case, the course really helped boost his confidence and his ability to access the job market.

Jon Kenny, Development Director of CEG, said: “The Forging Futures Campus construction courses are unique and are helping to motivate young people into new employment or education pathways. We hope to see those who are interested in construction back at our Kirkstall Forge development as we continue to build out new phases.”


Left to Right: Cody Cawthra, Scott Cargill, Jon Kenny (CEG), Matthew Toulson, Sean O'Toole, Ieuan Kriel

There will be six two-week programmes, each open to 15 people aged between 16 and 18. The courses will provide successful participants a Level 1 employability certificate, an opportunity to sit their CSCS test, career guidance and mentoring support leading to further training and apprenticeships.

I Consult Ltd is managing the courses in partnership with Inspire & Educate. Ewan Metcalf MD of I Consult Ltd said “This will be the first step for individuals commencing on their pathway to success whether that be further learning or entering directly in to employment. We are very excited about the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of local people at the Kirkstall Forge development.”

To find out more about the course, head to our Skills page www.kirkstallforge.com/skills

Featured Post - Twenty 16-24 year olds complete construction skills course at Kirkstall Forge