Ayrshire students shine on summer programme

Ayrshire students shine on summer programme

A summer programme for Ayrshire students - organised by Ayrshire College and East Ayrshire Council’s Opportunities for All - has proved to be a major success.

Over forty young people, some of whom started on the Next Steps Programme at Skills Development Scotland upon school leaving date, took part in the four-week programme within Ayrshire College and, incredibly, every participant has now secured a positive destination. They will all move on to either a college course, employment, or further training later this month.

The summer programme is now in its fifth year and was developed by Ayrshire College and East Ayrshire Council along with partners at Skills Development Scotland and Street League, who both contributed greatly to the day-to-day delivery of the programme.

The annual programme involves 15-19 year olds in Ayrshire working together on tasks and enjoying educational outings. This year the group took part in active trips to the likes of the Ayrshire Warriors, Blair Drummond Safari Park, Glasgow Science Centre, LA Bowl, Newmilns Ski Slope, Ryze, and the Sky Academy.

A closing event took place at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus on 26 July 2018 to celebrate the success of everyone who took part this summer.

East Ayrshire Council Chief Executive Fiona Lees and Ayrshire College Vice Principal Jackie Galbraith presented the pupils with three certificates each for completing the summer activity, in front of invited guests.

A number of the participants spoke to the assembled audience about how important the programme has been for them, mentioning that their confidence has grown immensely and that they’ve managed to thrive outside of their comfort zone.

Many of the participants had finished school and had no plan for what to do next, but following the successful completion of this courses they will now attend Ayrshire College in 2018/19, moving onto the likes of Hairdressing, Hospitality, and Motor Vehicle courses or 24/7 and PEZ (Personal Empowerment Zone) courses in the College’s HIVE (Hope, Inspiration and Vision in Education) area.

Others have decided to move into employment or training with the help of East Ayrshire Council and its partners.

Tom Marner, Employability and Engagement Team Leader at Ayrshire College, said “I would like to thank all of our partners for the successful running of this year’s summer programme.

“This is a hugely important programme as it takes people who are uncertain about what to do next and gives them a platform to interact with others and discover what they would like to pursue. With the help of the College, the Council and external partners, they are now able to move in the right direction. The fact that everyone in this year’s group has come out of the programme with a positive destination is also testament to the fact that the students themselves have bought into the programme and given it their all.”

East Ayrshire Council’s 16+ Transition Co-ordinator Margorie Harvie said “It’s been another fantastic and positive year for all who participated. This programme works for all young people who lack confidence on school leaving date or have no fixed destination in place.

“I’m proud to say that it is such a success because of the close partnership working we have here in East Ayrshire. Young people get to know all partners as an individual whilst having fun, which in return forms relationships and breaks down barriers.

“This is so important for our young people who require support, and between us all we are able to assist with them getting their chosen positive destination easily. Our partners this year were amazing, not only for coming on the trips but by offering individuals one-to-one support throughout the programme in helping them achieve.

“With close partnership working by all of the following: East Ayrshire Council Opportunities for All, Ayrshire College, Street League, Skills Development Scotland, East Ayrshire Council Essential Skills, East Ayrshire Council Home Link workers, East Ayrshire Council Social Work  Action for Children, and Morrison Construction, we were able to meet the needs of all.

“Witnessing how the young person blossoms throughout this bespoke programme always brings a sense of achievement to all involved. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

2 August 2018

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