Young people in Suffolk are to receive training to get them back into work thanks to Sizewell C, Suffolk’s proposed new power station.
Sizewell C has worked alongside two local charities, Access Community Trust and Inspire Suffolk, since 2019 to improve access to training in skills the project and wider region will need.
In this latest development of the partnership, courses will be delivered for young people Not in Education or Training (NEETs) to help develop high value skills such as welding and also provide a broader introduction to the growing energy industry on the east coast.
Eugenie Clarke, a Suffolk Inspire student is one of the first to sign up for the Step up to Clean Energy course which is being run at East Coast College. Eugenie said: “I am currently taking a gap year to focus on my career and the field I want to go into which, in my case, is engineering. As a result of the pandemic, my options have been restricted so I have been taking online courses to make the most of my gap year. By doing the Step Up Clean Energy programme, I will be able to learn more about EDF and the role Sizewell C will have in meeting climate targets. My intention is to use what I learn in this programme to better prepare me for what I hope to be a career as an engineer in the energy sector.
Dozens of young people in Lowestoft and Ipswich and surrounding areas will also receive support to prepare them for employability training and help to access programs such as Kickstart, aimed at some of those who are furthest from the employment market.
These programs will help raise aspirations of young people from some of the most deprived areas of Suffolk and provide a route out of long-term unemployment.
Emma Ratzer MBE, CEO Access Community Trust, said: “The partnership with Sizewell C supports our work with the most disengaged through local mentoring programmes, youth clubs, wellbeing services and online support groups. With the support of our trained advisers we can help people deal with the issues which often prevent them from being Employment ready. Offered within a pre-pre employment support bubble we can help with a wide range of matters as fundamental as the provision of food, support with debt, help with home-life issues such as domestic violence and ‘escaping the trap’.”
Terry Baxter, CEO, Inspire Suffolk, said: “Sizewell C presents a vital opportunity for positive change for the many young vulnerable people that we work with in Suffolk. We are working together to give young people a second chance, a meaningful career and an opportunity to get on in life.”
This comes at a time when the country is in recession when official figures show that the number of people claiming out of work or in-work benefits across Suffolk and Essex has more than doubled amid the coronavirus crisis. At a time when Suffolk Community Foundation has released fresh research on areas of deprivation in the county. In their latest report ‘Hidden needs in Suffolk 2020’ – a report prepared by University of Suffolk, education is uncovered as one of the most concentrated types of deprivation in the county. Those who leave school and are not in education, employment or training (‘NEET’) face particularly high risks of disadvantage. It’s difficult to access a good job without a good education. Sizewell C can help address this.
Case study – Eugenie Clarke
I am currently taking a gap year to focus on my career and the field I want to go into which, in my case, is engineering. As a result of the pandemic, my options have been restricted so I have been taking online courses to make the most of my gap year. My intended outcome is to gain insight into the necessary engineering skills and build on mine so I am in a better place to start my career.
Before my gap year, I studied for and achieved three A levels which included Mathematics and Electronics. I have been wanting to become an engineer since I started my GCSEs in year 10 so this had significant influence over my A level options.
By doing the Step Up Clean Energy programme, I will be able to learn more about EDF and the role Sizewell C will have in meeting climate targets. My intention is to use what I learn in this programme to better prepare me for what I hope to be a career as an engineer in the energy sector.
About the partnership
In 2019 Sizewell C entered into a partnership with Inspire Suffolk and Access Community Trust charitable organisations working with NEETs (16-24year olds not in training or education) and the long term unemployed in areas of concentrated deprivation in Suffolk. The objective of this partnership is to raise aspirations, provide pathways to employment with Sizewell C, social mobility and generally improve their life chances. Working alongside the Sizewell visitor centre the project delivers grassroot support to individuals facing long term unemployment and demonstrates the breadth of opportunities Sizewell C provides. Crucially this also supports the project in delivering access to a local workforce and supports the regional Local Enterprise Partnership objective of breaking down barriers to employment.