A pioneering training scheme has transformed the prospects of four young unemployed people from Wrexham.
They are being helped into the work place thanks to the partnership between the award-winning care organisation, Pendine Park, and The Prince’s Trust.
The quartet have just completed a three week-long training course at Pendine Park and, as a result, all of them have secured job interviews with the company.
Among the successful candidates was Lisa Jones, 22, a single mum who says she has grown in confidence and is proud of herself.
She said: “I really enjoy working in the care environment and that’s where I want to be. I recently lost my granddad and working with older people sort of brings me closer to him. I know he’d be proud of me.
“It’s amazing to get an interview too. We have learnt so much in three weeks things like food hygiene, first aid, dementia awareness, infection control, health and safety and lots of other things.”
Jake Spicer, 21, and hopes to get a job doing ground maintenance.
He said: “Working in the care sector isn’t all about caring – there are lots of other roles and I really want to work outside on grounds maintenance if I can.
“I went to the Job centre and they put me in touch with The Princes Trust. I’d tried really hard but couldn’t get a job.
“The future seems much brighter than it did a few weeks ago.”
Equally thrilled was Vanessa Jones, 24, who has a four-year-old daughter.
She said: “I want to develop my skills and getting a job interview is massive.
“I have so much more confidence than I did three weeks ago I would never have dreamed of getting up and talking to a room full of people like I have today. I feel as if I’m a step closer to having a better life for both me and my daughter. “
Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths attended The Princes Trust celebration and spoke to the four candidates.
She said: “It’s fantastic to see the partnership working between Pendine Park and The Prince’s Trust.
“Pendine Park leads the way in the professional social care sector and it comes as no surprise to see their close partnership with The Princes Trust.”
She added: “We need young people like Lisa, Jake, Laura and Vanessa working in the social care sector. I have no doubt that, with the right training, they will be an asset by looking after those in need of care.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Philippa Davies, Programme Executive for The Prince’s Trust.
She said: “My job is to co-ordinate all the ‘Get into’ programmes across North Wales. The four candidates have all done fantastically well and I know they have all really enjoyed their placements.
“We enjoy a wonderful partnership with Pendine Park. The fact all four have secured interviews and have the prospect of landing full-time jobs with the care organisation is fantastic.
“I can see a change in their self-confidence and self-belief in the three weeks they have been on placement. They now believe anything is possible – and it is.”
Marian Smith, The Princes Trust’s Enterprise Executive for North Wales, said: “It’s amazing to see the change in these young people in just the few weeks they have been on placement.”
Joyce Williams, the lead trainer with Pendine Park’s in-house training company, Smartcare, added: “We have employed people who came on work placement through The Prince’s Trust in the past and a number are still employed at Pendine Park.
“I’ve been really pleased with the four young candidates this year. The change in them in just three weeks is incredible. They have visibly grown in confidence.”
She added; “The proprietor of Pendine Park, Mario Kreft MBE, has been instrumental in bringing in The Prince’s Trust to work with Pendine Park.
“He takes a very close interest on how the young candidates progress while they are on placement and beyond.”