A graduate of Solihull College’s Prince’s Trust Team, which is run in partnership with West Midlands Police, is on the road to success after landing a sought-after apprenticeship with infrastructure giant Amey.
Twenty-three year old Stephen Jeffries impressed at an assessment day held at the firm’s Aston depot and beat off competition from more than 100 other hopefuls to land two of the three apprenticeships on offer.
Stephen is part of a string of success stories to emerge from the royal charity’s College’s partnership with the police to help unemployed young people. The Prince’s Trust Team has helped almost 2,000 16- to 25-year-olds -many of whom have become disillusioned and drifted into petty crime- focus on their futures.
As part of his apprenticeship, Stephen will get first-hand experience working on highways projects across Birmingham whilst also studying at college, be offered a wide range of industry training and the chance to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Chris Brueton, Prince’s Trust Coordinator at Solihull College comments: “This is a great progression for young people who have attended the Team programme across the West Midlands. Solihull College is especially proud of Stephen obtaining this opportunity. It is fantastic that employers such as Amey recognise the employability skills that young people have developed as part of their programme. We would welcome further partnerships with local employers to enrich the programme offered through the College and to benefit our young people”.
Stephen, from Northfield, was urged by his family to join the College’s Prince’s Trust Team programme having become long-term unemployed and arrested for alcohol-related offences.
Amey Account Manager Will Tyas, said: “The programmes help participants build their career and achieve their ambitions, either in an operational role, as a technical specialist or manager of the future. Stephen presented himself extremely well and performed all tasks in our assessment centre day with enthusiasm – the confidence he gained through the Prince’s Trust personal development programme really stood out. It is a real pleasure for Amey to work alongside Solihull College and West Midlands Police to support a project that helps change people’s lives in such a positive manner”.
Now in its seventh year, the partnership between Solihull College’s Prince’s Trust Team and West Midlands Police is hailed as contributing to a drop in re-offending rates across the region. A recent evaluation by the force showed that out of a sample of 71 offenders who took part in the programme, only 12 went on to reoffend” an impressive reduction of 83 per cent.
For more information about the Solihull College Prince’s Trust 12 Week Programme, please visit www.solihull.ac.uk/Prince’s Trust or call 0121 678 7000.
(Front R) Stephen Jeffries.
(Middle L-R) Solihull College Prince’s Trust Team leader PCSO’s Martin Kennedy & Carly Bladen
(Back L-R) Solihull College Prince’s Trust Team leader Teresa Byrne; PC Lee Soanes; Dave Nolan (former Prince’s Trust graduate and apprentice) and Amey’s Will Tyas