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Melksham teenagers boost their job prospects

TWO Melksham teenagers have boosted their career prospects after taking part in a new traineeship placement at Wiltshire Council.

Will Bridger and James Baily took part in a scheme that saw five teenagers learning key skills and working in departments in the council.

The initiative started in March and now just a few months on, both Will and James have plans in place to ensure their hard work will set them on the road to future careers. Will Bridger,  who is well known in the town for setting up the community radio station Melksham Town Sound, spent time in the communications department and is hoping to find an apprenticeship in radio production.

He said, “Taking part in the programme has been a good experience. I have enjoyed working with the department and meeting new people and now feel more confident about getting full-time employment.”

James Baily completed his placement with the environment services team based in Melksham.  James worked with the Rights of Way and Countryside team assisting with the maintenance and improvement works of public rights of way.  James is continuing to be supported by the council as he explores his options. Leader of Wiltshire Council Jane Scott, met with the trainees and handed them a certificate for completing the programme. She said, “I saw these young people at the start of the programme and I’m delighted to meet them again now and see how much they have gained from being part of this programme and how this can help their future career prospects.

“We want every young person to improve their attainment and skills and this programme has given these young people the skills they need to help them achieve their full potential.”

As part of the programme the young people started building their skills and confidence in various departments including IT, facilities management and development and learning. They had a refresher course in maths, IT and English before they spent four months in the council workplace. The scheme is part of a new initiative by the Skills Funding Agency to help young people be work ready.

Wiltshire Council has a contract from the agency to deliver traineeships which aim to secure a young person’s progression to an apprenticeship or sustainable job. These are only awarded to training providers who have achieved an Ofsted grading of good or better. Learning in Wiltshire, the training arm of Wiltshire Council, was awarded a grade 2 at its last Ofsted inspection in March 2011.