Young people leaving local authority care got a taste of the world of work after recently taking part in a number of work experience opportunities across the county during Somerset County Council’s first ‘Trade Taster Week’.
The sessions were all hands on and gave the young people a chance to experience a variety of job roles, ask questions, find out more about training and how they can get into specific industry sectors.
Very welcome support from employers the Mecure Hotel, Somerset Care, Project One, Train4all and Willmott Dixon gave the young care leavers the chance to fully understand whether the work the experienced would be an option for them in the future..
The week was deemed an overriding success with positive feedback from both young care leavers and employers. And on the strength of the experience of both care leavers and employers, two care leavers were offered further work experience.
Councillor Frances Nicholson, Somerset’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “The Taster Week was deemed a great success by employers and care leavers alike. It was an important first experience of the world of work for the young care leavers, helping them decide their future direction and the training they will need. It also gave them an opportunity to practise important skills for an independent life. I am very pleased to see that two of our young people have already found a placement through the scheme.”
The week was also an opportunity for the care leavers to evolve and work on their life skills. One of the care leavers said: “Friday was fun to meet up with the other people and celebrate that I got the train to Bridgwater and Taunton on my own and had to change trains halfway through.”
Following the success of this week, the Council plan to run another Trade Taster Week, exploring another handful of job roles, in March 2020 (dates to be confirmed) which will be open to any Care Leavers across the County.