Learning coach supports young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) in Blaenau Gwent

A JOINT project between Blaenau Gwent Network and Careers Wales Gwent has provided learning coach support for young people not in education, employment or training has been extended.

The project enabled a learning coach to work intensively with a small number of young people to help them into education, employment or training. Working on a one-to-one basis with youngsters with complex needs, the coach provided advice and guidance and addressed behavioural and social issues.

The coach met learners once a week during the 5-month project. In each session coach and learner worked to draw up a three-step action plan of goals for the following week. The coach also met with basic skills tutors before a young person embarked on a training placement to ensure that appropriate support was in place.

The organisers say the project has been a success. Young people valued the independence of the coach, who they found more approachable than other professionals, especially on sensitive matters. Meetings often took place in informal environments and home visits were made if they did not attend appointments. Contact was also maintained through telephone calls and texts, and the coach was available outside normal working hours.

Training providers praised the effect on motivation, self-awareness and self-belief. Parents too saw changes in attitude organisers say. All of the young people who completed evaluation forms found the help they received very useful.

Following its initial success, the project has now been extended beyond its original finishing date of 31 March 2009.


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