A HECKMONDWIKE nursery has been lauded for the way it is helping young people get a foothold in the job market.
The Heckmondwike branch of the Salvation Army pre-school has been praised by national youth charity Rathbone UK for the faith it has shown in youngsters through its pre-apprenticeship programme.
The nursery is helping 16-year-old Georgia Glover work towards becoming a child carer, by giving her experience and support. She herself attended the pre-school when she was a tot.
Georgia, from Heckmondwike, said: “I have wanted to be a child carer from being in year nine.
“I know a lot of young people don’t get much advice but my school put me on to Rathbone.”
The former St John Fisher High School pupil is among the first intake of young people on the Salvation Army’s Access to Apprenticeships scheme, which ensures they will be well placed to find success when applying for full apprenticeships further down the line.
Georgia has also completed work experience at the Laugh and Learn Nursery in Oldfield Lane, Heckmondwike, and at the Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School, where her mum works.
Georgia added: “I really enjoy working with children and what I’m learning here will help me get a job.
“You gain experience and qualifications and it has to be better than sitting at home doing nothing.”
The nursery’s work has been hailed as ‘a beacon of light’ by Rathbone during a time when youth unemployment is at a record high.
Peter Gibson, from Rathbone UK, said: “With its rich history of compassion for the vulnerable, we perhaps shouldn’t be surprised that the Salvation Army is once again helping those who need it most.
“Unemployed youngsters are trying to compete in the job market against those with years of experience. By offering on-the-job training, the Salvation Army is bringing hope and life-changing support to young lives in Heckmondwike.”