A ground-breaking Back to Work programme that steers young people into employment has been rolled out in Southampton.
Change Direction, a JobCentre Plus funded initiative provided by Isle of Wight based youth education and maritime training charity UKSA, has already seen 80% of participants move into employment, education or training.
As part of a plan to roll the successful scheme out across the UK, participants were selected for a Southampton programme and within two weeks of the course finishing, half had signed off benefits and moved into employment.
The six-week programme takes young adults who are living on benefits and gives them a whole range of on and off the water experiences, a healthy routine, and raises their aspirations and self-belief. Participants also gain important life and work skills and complete a CV. They are also helped to overcome a great deal of barriers that were preventing them from gaining employment.
Lee Jones, UKSA Youth Development Co-coordinator, said they had created a course to inspire young people, teach them new skills and help them be creative with their job search.
The completely unique course, which until recently was only running on the Isle of Wight, is now being extended out to areas of Kent and London, as well as Southampton.
Lee explained: “The reason we have extended it to other areas is because JobCentre Plus has seen the value of the programme, as it does get people back into work. Because of the contacts made with the maritime companies it has opened up options for these young people. All the participants have improved their soft skills, their transferable skills, so they can better interact with potential employers.
“We would like to extend a huge thank you to all the local businesses who gave up so much of their time to work on this programme with us. The opportunity to be inspired by so many proactive employers was a huge benefit to these young people.”
Jonathan Walcroft, Manager of Saxon Wharf and Shamrock Quay for Marina Developments Limited, offered work experience to the participants. He said “I would just like to say on behalf of Marina Developments Ltd, what a pleasure it was to have your students working with us during their six week placement. They had a superb attitude towards all tasks asked of them and were a great help to me. I am sure they have an excellent chance of securing long term employment in the future.”
UKSA would like to thank Marina Developments Ltd, Seadub, Rona Sailing Project, Red Funnel Ferries, Doyle Sails, Walcon, Southampton Water Activity Centre, Green Marine, Elvstrom, Ocean Quay and Stormforce Coaching, who all offered work experience opportunities.
In addition, thanks go to RNLI College in Poole, Spencer Rigging, Ocean Safety, LDC Racing, the National Geographic Centre, Calshott Tower and Berthon in Lymington.
Case Study: James had suffered more than his fair share of bad luck by the time he turned up to start the Change Direction programme at the age of 24. He was left in a coma after a near-fatal accident, but once on his road to recovery he wanted to work. Apart from a temporary Christmas placement at Argos he remained unemployed – and frustrated.
When James heard about the Change Direction programme, he thought it sounded perfect. He persistently rang up Jobcentre Plus to ask to be considered for the programme. Once accepted he loved the course, which involved a mixture of activities at UKSA, work experience within the maritime industry and a focus on improving personal development skills. Having previously studied marine engineering when he left school he would like to pursue a career or receive further training in this line of work. James has since received news that following his work experience placement with Walcon, he has secured employment with the company building jetties and pontoons, some of which may be used for the Southampton Boat show.
For more information about the Change Direction Programme please contact Lee Jones, Youth Development Coordinator at UKSA email@example.com.
Chatham Maritime Marina will be able to offer even greater space for berth holders, with the official opening of 60 new marina berths. The new pontoons, which represent a significant investment in the Kent marina, were officially opened by the Mayor of Medway, Councillor Mrs Josie Iles.
The construction work forms part of the Chatham Maritime Project, with MDL Marinas – Europe’s largest marina operator - working in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency and Chatham Maritime Trust as part of extensive regeneration works in the area. Cllr Mrs Iles and other invited guests were treated to a tour of the marina by boat, learning more about the important maritime history of the area, before stepping onto the new pontoons for the official opening ceremony.
Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are committed to investing in our marinas, and these new berths will allow even more boat owners access to both the beautiful cruising opportunities in the Medway Estuary and the renowned MDL customer service that people using the new berths will experience. The local area has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, and we are proud to be part of this, whilst also ensuring our customer service and locations are of the very highest standards.
“We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and our other guests to this important occasion and look forward to seeing the new berths being well used this summer.”
Showcasing all that Shamrock Quay marina has to offer, in association with the RYA Active Marina programme and Stormforce Coaching. Visit Shamrock Quay between 14.30 and 17.00 on Saturday 20th July for a FREE fun day out for all the family, packed with opportunities to get on the water and be entertained shore-side with live demonstrations.
Get Afloat with try a boat (all boat trips are FREE, subject to availability)
Live Demonstrations within the marina (all shore-side activities are FREE and running throughout the day)
With all this activity both on the water and ashore, you’re bound to need some refreshment. Stop by at the afternoon street party, hosted by The Yellow Welly café, pick up some sweets from the mobile sweet shop or visit The Waterfront pub’s BBQ – there’s something for everyone!
MDL owned Ocean Village Marina in Southampton will be opening its doors on Saturday 18th May, encouraging people of all ages and abilities to come and have a go at watersports. The leading marina is one of the locations across the country taking part in the RYA Push the Boat Out weekend, which will see hundreds of people enjoy free on-the-water activities, and benefit from expert advice on matters such as marina berthing and sea safety.
All the family can enjoy an action-packed day with free RIB rides and jet ski experiences from 10am. There’s also plenty to see and do on land with an on shore sailing simulator – giving visitors the chance to experience dinghy sailing before even taking to the water. In addition, as part of the RYA Active Marina Programme, boat owners and MDL’s berth holders can enjoy tuition to help improve manoeuvring in and out of the marina, engine maintenance, sea safety and first aid. These sessions are free of charge but booking is recommended as a limited number of spaces are available. There is also the opportunity to book a motor boat own boat 90 minute training session for just £35.
Debbie Burns, Marina Manager at Ocean Village Marina, said: “We are delighted to be taking part in RYA Push the Boat Out. We are inviting our local community to get involved and have a go at watersports, which for many may be their first experience of being out on the water. It is set to be a fantastic day and there will be something fun for all the family to enjoy, as well as lots to benefit our berth holders.”
The open day at Ocean Village Marina is part of the RYA’s Active Marina Programme which encourages and supports increased berth holder activity by partnering with marinas, RYA recognised training centres, berth holders groups and yacht clubs to establish or enhance a programme of training, cruising and social opportunities.
The open day will run from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 18th May 2013. For further information contact Ocean Village Marina or visit www.solentboattraining.co.uk/rya-active-marina.
This year at the Devon County Show, MDL Marinas will, for the very first time, be exhibiting at the biggest show in Devon. Amongst the cattle showing, cup-cake decorating and a Royal visit, MDL Marinas will be onsite enjoying the sunshine alongside Sunseeker and Bentley. Why not pop by and meet Mike Smith from Torquay Marina who will be manning the stand along with Sunseeker Torquay. Come and speak to us about the benefits of being an MDL Annual Berth Holder as well as our latest benefit of Passeport Escales, offering you even more free cruising destinations off the coast of northwest France.
The Devon Country Show takes place at Westpoint, just 3 minutes from junction 30 of the M5, at Exeter. It runs for three days on 16th, 17th and 18th May and is a show to entertain the whole family.
If you would like to know more about the Devon Country Show, please visit www.devoncountyshow.co.uk.