Garden helps to grow skills of youngsters

Jane, Duchess of Northumberland
Picture Jane Coltman

Jane, Duchess of Northumberland Picture Jane Coltman

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An employment campaign spearheaded by the Duchess of Northumberland has already seen its first successes locally after a recent event succeeded in developing the skills and confidence of youngsters from across the region.

As part of its Enterprise Programme, which looks to increase aspirations of the younger generation and open up opportunities for them once they leave education, The Alnwick Garden Trust held a dedicated Employability Day.

The session, on Wednesday, February 24, was aimed at delivering practical, hands-on skills sessions to young people aged 16 and 17.

The morning was led by Garden staff who set up teambuilding, problem solving and communication activities, and shared ways in which youngsters could be creative and dynamic when developing covering letters and searching for vacancies.

The afternoon session was led by a team from Barclays and focused on interview skills and practical exercises, with the firm’s Life Skills presentation shared, and advice and guidance on budgeting and business offered.

Natasha Addis, from The Alnwick Garden Trust, said: “The North East has the highest unemployment levels of 18 to 24-year-olds in the UK, and The Enterprise Programme is specifically designed to tackle this.

“To achieve this, it’s imperative that we’re proactive in our approach and that we work with youngsters whilst they’re still in school or college to help them understand the real benefits of working. The day was a success and feedback has already been hugely positive.”

The Trust and Barclays bridged the gap between skills which often aren’t taught in schools, including decision-making and personal budgeting, including managing wages and paying tax.

The Garden currently has 10 youngsters doing flexible work experience in various parts of the attraction.