Bolton College Tackles Youth Unemployment On Washacre Estate
20th November 2012
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Bolton College has helped launch a new project, which has been set up to tackle youth unemployment in and around the Washacre Estate in Westhoughton, Bolton.

The Progress Project gives disadvantaged young adults, aged 16 to 25, the self belief and confidence to progress into education, employment or even set up their own business venture.

Currently held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at the John Holt Centre – a youth and community centre which is run by Bolton Council – the project offers a range of taster training sessions. Since launching, it has already assisted two brothers in starting up their own mini enterprise.

Anthony and Stuart Green are setting up their own bike repair service, as a direct result of the skills they learned on a course at the Progress Project. It was run in conjunction with Halfords – one of Bolton College’s key employment partners.

Speaking of the venture, Stuart, 28, said: "The training session showed me how to repair my own brakes by putting the wires in the right place. I have just repaired my mate’s brakes too! Now, we are going to make some flyers to distribute on the estate, because we want to set up our own business."

Dean Richardson, Halfords manager, said: "We really enjoy helping young people to get a start in life by showing them new skills that they can use in real life enterprise situations. It has already proved incredibly successful and we’re thrilled that Anthony and Stuart have used their new-found knowledge to set up their own venture.”

Following the course, both brothers have re-engaged with the College and are also set to start a work placement at Halfords.

Suzanne Watson, curriculum manager for the Skills for Independent Living department at Bolton College, said: “We realise that for many young people, who struggled at school and who may have poor or no qualifications, a lack of employment opportunities can often lead to low self esteem and low self worth.

“By teaming up with the Progress Project, we can offer support in an informal, friendly environment that enables young people to address confidence issues, and help them to develop positive social skills. The range of taster training sessions on offer has been created to enhance the future employment or higher education prospects of attendees and we are able to offer flexible, meaningful and sustainable packages built around each individual’s requirements.”

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