Manchester school leavers told to ‘sacrifice summer break to reach full potential’ and boost job prospects

By Danielle Birtles

Manchester school leavers who struggled with their education are now being given the opportunity to boost their skills and job prospects this summer thanks to a youth charity.

Teens that didn’t finish school or are expecting poor exam results can now claim the ground they lost on their peers with Rathbone’s education initiative in order to improve their employment opportunities.

Managing Director of Rathbone, Linda Dean, said: “Amazingly those who’ve struggled at school tend to leave it six weeks before they even think about their future.

“It is only when they see their friends take up college courses that they panic, and realise they’re out there in the adult world and unable to compete in the job market.”

Unlike many traditional sixth-form colleges Rathbone run ‘roll-on-roll-off’ programmes that can be started at any time including pre-apprenticeship schemes, hands-on skills and various literacy, ICT and numeracy qualifications.

The charity is running a series of summer activities through July and August including drama groups, sports clubs, including FC united and Salford City Reds, and arts and crafts designers at locations such as the Factory Youth Zone in Harpurhey and the Whitemoss Youth Club.

Ms. Dean continued: “Our message is ‘why wait’? Get some skills and qualifications now and you may just forge ahead of others in the search for work.”

Taster days at their training centres (such as Bolton, Bury and Wigan) and even crash courses in professions such as childcare, construction and learning to drive will also be on offer at Rathbone.

Linda Dean concluded: “I am certain that many young people have worked hard even if they are not going to do well academically.

“I also believe that there are stresses such as family crisis that have held some of the more disadvantaged young people back.

“All we are asking is that they sacrifice one summer to catch-up and plan their day in the sun when they reach their full potential.”

Initial reaction to the scheme has been positive, with many participants grateful at having another opportunity to achieve skills.

Kayleigh Toole, 17, said: “I was worried when I did my exams and if I knew someone was there to help me like Rathbone I may have done better.”

Learn more about Rathbone at 

Picture courtesy of Extra Ketchup via Flickr, with thanks

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