Centre to help young get jobs

A NEW centre offering work-related qualifications designed to encourage teenagers to stay in education is planned for Barnsley.

Monday, 3rd September 2007, 12:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2007, 10:58 am

The 1.5 million Diploma Centre for 14-to-19-year-olds would be based in Kendray and offer five subjects – construction, health, media, engineering and technology.

Barnsley has fought off strong competition to be chosen as one of only 10 areas in the country to deliver the full range of new diplomas which combine learning with work experience.

Of 1,127 submissions, only 145 have been chosen to deliver the new qualifications, and only 10 of these have approval to deliver all five courses.

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The Diploma Centre will offer 90 per cent of the qualifications next year if the scheme is approved by the council's ruling cabinet tomorrow.

It will aim to replicate real workplaces including a hospital ward, childcare facility and residential home.

Linda Burgess, council children's services spokeswoman, said: "I'm pleased to be taking this report to cabinet and hopefully it will have the support needed to ensure many of Barnsley's youngsters are given much broader opportunities for achieving in the future."

The Diploma Centre will be housed in an extension of the Kendray Youth Enterprise Centre on Thornton Road.

The KYEC, which is still under construction, will provide workshops and units to young people who want to work for themselves.

A council spokesman said having both organisations in the same building would give young people a clear path into self-employment.

He added: "The Diploma Centre offers personalised approaches to learning and a wider range or opportunities to develop every young person's potential, to stretch the more able and engage those at risk of dropping out.

"Developing new diplomas alongside youth enterprise activity will give young people an excellent opportunity of moving on from gaining worthwhile educational diplomas into self-employment, all contained within one facility."

The Department for Children, Schools and Families will make the 1.5 million grant if the scheme is approved.