Each year, thirty young unemployed people aged 16 and 17 begin the Transition To Work Course at Shipley College in Bradford. The students have a variety of needs and abilities and come from a range of backgrounds. They have left school with little in the way of qualifications and no obvious route into work at a time of high youth unemployment. That's where Transition To Work comes in.
The Course has been running at Shipley College since 1976. It is designed as a one-year bridging course providing the young people with time to develop maturity and social competence so that they are ready to make decisions about a pathway into the labour market. Key elements of the course include basic training in numeracy, literacy and IT; a range of practical work including placements and work experience and a focus on social skills from working in teams to looking for jobs.
The staff have a wide range of expertise, strong local connections and great enthusiasm for their work. There is a great emphasis on setting work on an individual basis and providing a variety of teaching - a commitment to enabling each young person to focus on their individual capabilities and enjoy learning at their own pace.
Transition is a structured, supportive environment offering opportunity and achievement to those who are prepared to take it:
"I want to achieve something because I haven't achieved anything in all my life. I want something to go for." Student on Transition To Work CourseThe Course is successful. It is over-subscribed and has almost doubled in size over the past five years. In the same period over 94% of students have found a pathway into work or further training.
Young people are given a place on the Course following an interview with the Course Tutor. A system of 'shadowing' is in place whereby potential students may join the course for a short period to determine for themselves whether they think it will fit their needs.
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