Awards for students developing crucial new skills

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A COLLEGE has celebrated the achievement of students who have completed a 12-week course aimed at boosting young people’s confidence and getting them back into education.

Askham Bryan College, near York, is one the country’s major land-based education providers running courses ranging from agriculture to engineering and from horticulture to equine.

It has also launched courses in partnership with the youth charity, the Prince’s Trust allowing young people to earn a basic qualification over 12 weeks which can act as a stepping stone to help them back into education.

The college has just celebrated the achievement of a group of eight Prince’s Trust students who have been presented with awards by Sheriff of York Alan Deller.

Qualifications have been earned by Josh Crow, Matt Codling, Carl Herrington, Faye Leavy, Christina Lofthouse, Declan Parks, Nathan Craine and Rosie Pendleton.

All received the level one Prince’s Trust certificate in employment, teamwork and community skills and level two awards in emergency first aid at work. Nathan, 19 from Acomb, in York won the award for best team member while Rosie, 16 from Selby was presented with a prize as the most improved team member.

Andrew Hall, Prince’s Trust team leader at Askham Bryan College said: “The awards are aimed at encouraging personal growth and developing skills for life and the success of these young people is richly deserved.

“For several, this will be their most important achievement to date so it is very significant. They have all gained in confidence and knowledge, and are now much better equipped to achieve their full potential in life.”

For 17-year-old Faye Leavy who comes from Copmanthorpe, a career in motor engineering is now in her sights. She said: “The programme really helped to build up my skills and confidence, so much so that I’ve decided to go for my level three in vehicle and motor sport engineering, so I will be back at Askham Bryan in September as a full-time student.”

Over the past three months, their activities included working with a York community project at the former Nestle site, building raised beds for allotments for disabled users. A week was also spent working with adults with learning difficulties at Brunswick Organic Nursery at Bishopthorpe, and they took part in a residential week in the Peak District where they experienced orienteering, caving, abseiling and climbing.

The programme also included two week’s work experience, work on their CVs and interview skills as well as donning wellies and helping at the college’s farm.