A charity has tapped into the power of apprenticeships through a Hartlepool college.
Changing Futures North East, a charity that specialises in family mediation and support, as well as pioneering innovative work with families, has taken on two youngsters.
Elle Lawrence has become an Apprentice Family Support Worker and Joseph Dowson a Business Support Apprentice.
Elle’s apprenticeship opportunity allowed her to work and learn while completing her Children and Young People’s Workforce Level 2 qualification at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
She said: “It was really nerve-wracking when I started, I didn’t know what to expect, but Changing Futures has a brilliant team and, along with the college, guided me in my new role.”
At first, she shadowed members of staff and got used to the work.
Elle and Joseph are an excellent example of two young people really excelling in their workplace after only six months of being thereShaun Hope
After four weeks of intense training and impressing the Changing Futures staff, Elle was taking referrals of her own and meeting with families.
Joseph had been waiting for an apprenticeship opportunity since he was 16 and had tried going through the college route.
He said: “I knew I needed a position that would allow me to gain a qualification through practical work and building a coursework portfolio.
“I had been waiting for an apprenticeship to come up and jumped at the opportunity with Changing Futures. I started slowly getting to grips with perfecting my phone manner and updating spreadsheets and now I’m being given more responsibility and tasks to complete.
“Eventually I’d love to continue working on my education through the college and become an accountant.”
The college offers different opportunities for young people, from engineering, welding and construction to business services, hair and beauty, social care and travel.
Shaun Hope, head of student recruitment for the college, said: “Elle and Joseph are an excellent example of two young people really excelling in their workplace after only six months of being there.
“Both of them are a credit to Changing Futures North East and brilliant examples of how the apprenticeship route can get you straight into your desired career, both earning and learning.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Elle and Joseph gain their qualifications and seeing them progress even further in their apprenticeships.”