- Monday, 30 July 2012 15:00
Young people from the Derbyshire Dales took steps towards a brighter future when they attended a special open day at the Ritz Adult Community Education Centre in Matlock on 25 July.
The Your Big Break event - a joint project organised by Derbyshire Dales District Council and Derbyshire County Council - offered 16-24 year-olds the opportunity to meet with training providers, register online for apprenticeships and hear from local employers and apprentices.
One of the District Council's own apprentices, Joe Harrison, Apprentice Leisure Attendant at Bakewell Swimming Pool took part and gave a first hand account of what it is like to be an apprentice, telling attendees about the training and support he had received as a result.
As well as a signing up for a host of apprenticeships, including everything from agriculture to hairdressing, young people talked to local colleges, volunteer services, Connexions and the Wheels to Work project, and the Adult Education service was on hand to support more mature visitors.
More than 70 young people attended - along with family and support workers - from all over the Derbyshire Dales, and feedback was very positive, with 80% of visitors agreeing the event was useful.
Seventeen-year-old Hannah Green (pictured) from Matlock, who is currently unemployed, said:
"I thought the 'Your Big Break' event was really good. I have two interviews at Chesterfield College, both for Apprenticeship opportunities, which I didn't know were available until I found out today."
Hannah, with the support of an adviser, rang to find out more, and was invited along to the College for interviews this week.
Richard Tarbatt, a Director from local firm Twiggs who have their own apprenticeship programme spoke at the event to give the employer's perspective on apprenticeships. Afterwards he said:
"As a local employer and member of Business Peak District I was delighted to work with the District Council on this event which I hope will inspire those young people attending to go on and become an apprentice."
Miranda Kravaris from training provider TBG Learning who also attended said:
"Thank you for considering us for your recent event. I think it was really well attended and credit goes to the organisers."
Derbyshire Dales District Council Leader, Councillor Lewis Rose OBE said:
"We are delighted so many young people attended this excellent event. Clearly the message is hitting home that an apprenticeship is an excellent way of learning on the job and gaining qualifications while earning a wage."
Cakes from Creative Cupcakes in Darley Dale were eagerly sampled, and young people took away a goody bag that included a 2GB memory stick with a wealth of information to help them apply for apprenticeships, and write CVs and covering letters. A prize draw for a £50 gift card was also held, and the winner will be contacted this week.