Norwich for Jobs campaign organises workshop taster day

Potential apprentices with workshop training and development manager, Warren Egerton, try a taster d

Potential apprentices with workshop training and development manager, Warren Egerton, try a taster day as mechanics at Action Community Enterprise at Rackheath. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

Budding mechanics were given a chance to try out their preferred career at a Norfolk training centre on Tuesday.

Organised by the Norwich For Jobs (NFJ) campaign, a group of eight job seekers, aged 18 to 24, headed to the Action Community Enterprises (Ace) site at Rackheath Industrial Estate.

The young people – seven men and one woman – are all currently claiming jobseekers' allowance and are keen to pursue careers in the motor industry.

Becky Morgans, project manager at Ace, said the community interest company and specialist training provider, which helps young people back into employment, had been asked to set up a taster day by the NFJ team.

'It's to give the young people the opportunity to get hands-on in a garage environment to see if it is a career choice for them,' she said. 'They might not have considered how cold it is and will be asking themselves if they are OK to spend all day working in a garage. Do they understand the health and safety aspects? It's quite a high-risk environment.'

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Ace has a fully-equipped garage at its Rackheath base and, after being given a health and safety briefing and kitted out in their overalls, the jobseekers were led through a series of hands-on exercises from taking apart an engine to learn how it works, to changing tyres and breaks as part of a 20-point car inspection.

Norwich For Jobs hopes the experience will give the young people the knowledge they need to pursue an apprenticeship and feel confident about succeeding.

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Its aim is to cut the number of 18 to 24 year olds in the Norwich area claiming jobseekers' allowance by 1,000 by the end of 2014.

Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North and a member of the NFJ steering panel, said: 'A day like today helps young people think about how they can get job ready and also makes very clear how young people can get connected to the opportunities that are out there. Norwich For Jobs seeks to connect people with opportunities as well as encourage employers to invest in creating more opportunities locally.'

Miss Morgans said Ace would offer any of the young people taking part in yesterday's taster session a chance to get involved with a week-long course running next week, as well as putting them in touch with employers who are able to offer apprenticeships in the motor industry.

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