Extra £100,000 to train young people for work
December 31, 2012
An extra £100,000 has been secured to fund a centre to help train young people for work.
The Skills and Enterprise Centre, known as Aspire, will cater for up to 100 14- to 16-year-olds and older teenagers at risk of becoming a NEET – people not in education, employment or training.
The scheme, based at IQ Winnersh business park, was given unanimous approval by Wokingham Borough Council’s executive on Tuesday, December 18.
The project will be set up as a modern workplace with cutting edge technology, a recording studio and dance and drama rooms.
Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for children’s services, said: “It is a partnership project with schools, businesses and the local authority to provide appropriate training opportunities for young people for whom the school curriculum might not be appropriate.”
Wokingham Federation of Secondary Schools, which will be the main user, supports the initiative along with SEGRO, owner of IQ Winnersh, which will encourage firms on the park to offer apprenticeships, work placements and work experience.
A report to councillors initially stated the project will use £150,000 in developer funding to refurbish a unit at IQ Winnersh, but this has now been boosted to £250,000.
The additional cash means other funding allocated to the centre can be redirected to a community care project for older people at Emmanuel Church in Woodley.
Cllr Rob Stanton said: “I think this is a potential game-changer for these young people. We have never had anything like this facility and this really will help young people who need what I call a different kind of education. Sometimes academia doesn’t suit everybody and this is a professional alternative.”
He added: “I think it is a huge piece of news for two groups of people. It is a good Christmas present for everybody.”
Cllr David Lee, leader of the council, added: “We now have outstanding primary and secondary schools and now we have this excellent facility coming up and an outstanding university which resides in our borough.”