Aspiring apprentices and students from Cherwell have been equipped with the tools they need to take their first steps onto the career ladder.
Sanctuary Housing has been working with The Apprenticeship & Training Company (ATC) to support vulnerable young people access or continue apprenticeships.
Small support grants are being offered to students, both Sanctuary residents and others, for items essential in the take-up of work placements, apprenticeships and traineeships that they may otherwise not be able to afford.
They cover items such as high quality tools, site equipment and interview clothes, or expenses such as self-funded DBS checks. They are made available to those whose goals are otherwise impossible to reach.
One 17-year-old trainee carpenter, who only had tracksuit bottoms to wear, now looks and feels the part after the fund was used to purchase him a pair of safety trousers, boosting his confidence in the workshop.
It also covered the price of a socket set for a student studying vehicle restoration, who felt restricted by the lack of his own tool kit. Now, the Bicester based student can practise the skills he learns at college in his own time, which has accelerated his learning rate by a mile.
Paddy Patterson, director of operations at ATC, said: “It makes a big difference to apprentices to be able to have their own equipment.
“There is a huge amount of construction going on in Banbury and Bicester, so it’s important to increase a sense of connection with the world of work for those entering it.”
Kate Winstanley, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, added: “We aim to support residents in developing skills and accessing training prospects.
“This project improves residents’ opportunities to access work and training, in order to enter into, and sustain, employment.”
This project was funded by Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund, supporting projects which benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.