New project aims to get Sunderland teens ready for work

Amy Cuthbertson who took part in a scheme run by Farringdon Jubilee Centre.
Amy Cuthbertson who took part in a scheme run by Farringdon Jubilee Centre.
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YOUNG people can learn new skills with a work placement project.

Farringdon Jubilee Centre is running a programme to provide teenagers in the west area of Sunderland with the opportunity to learn new skills.

Jemma Amer, general manager at the Allendale Road centre, said the project is aimed at young people aged 16 to 18-years-old, who are classed as NEET, not in employment, education or training.

The project is funded through Sunderland City Council West Area Committee’s Strategic Initiatives Budget.

Jemma said: “We are working with the young people to improve their job prospects and raise their aspirations by helping them to complete 13-week work placement opportunities.

“We have a target to work with 50 young people, and to date, we have supported 12 young people.

“Ideally, we aim to help young people gain work or decide to go back to education.”

She said they are looking for more young people to take part in the placement and they will be given £25 for every week they complete their 20 hours of work.

Jemma said the centre would also like to hear from businesses which would be willing to give one of the teenagers a place.

Amy Cuthbertson, 18, is one of the teenagers who has completed a work placement through the Jubilee Centre.

Jemma said: “Amy had left college and found she didn’t want to go to university, so wanted to gain some work experience. Amy seemed a very intelligent girl, but was a little quiet and nervous.”

With help from staff at the centre, Amy clinched one of the placements at a florist shop, The Flower Hut, in Farringdon.

Amy said: “I have always liked crafts and flowers, but had never tried anything like that, so saw this as an ideal opportunity to develop my skills.

“I have learned a lot within the shop, my confidence in speaking to people on the phone and face to face has improved a lot as I was a bit nervous in dealing with people.

“I have also learned a lot of new skills, such as dealing with money, taking phone orders, cleaning and general shop duties.

“I have also had a lot of training in arranging bouquets and have gained lots of knowledge about the floristry industry.”

Anyone interested in being part of the scheme should contact the centre on 522 8447.