The Children’s Centre has launched a new project to give young people a second chance to gain vital GCSE qualifications to boost their educational and career prospects. The EPiCENTRE programme – which has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Barclays Wealth and Investment Management – is a type of sixth form college that will take 10 young people through Maths and English GCSEs alongside an AQA Level 2 Certificate in Preparation for Working Life. It aims to give them a second chance to get the grades that most employers now expect from successful job applicants.
Juana Warburton, Development Manager at The Children’s Centre, said: “When recruiting new employees most businesses now regard GCSE grade Cs in Maths and English as minimum requirements. In an increasingly competitive world young people entering the job market for the first time are at a significant disadvantage if they don’t have these grades, and sometimes it can prevent them from entering further education. There is definitely a need and a demand for this type of educational support here on the Island. Even though the project was not widely advertised we received more than 30 applications from young people wanting to take part. These statistics show the importance of this type of project, and we are extremely grateful to Barclays Wealth and Investment Management for their generous donation which will fund EPiCENTRE for its first year.”
Stuart Nelson, Head of Corporate and Intermediaries and Chair of the Charity Committee at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, commented: “The Children’s Centre is one of our ‘Charities of the Year’ and we’re delighted to support this extremely worthwhile project providing a great opportunity for young people to realise their potential and enhance their career opportunities. Our employees thoroughly enjoy being involved in community activities such as this.”
If a pupil here in the Isle of Man attains five or more GCSE passes at grade C or above, they can stay at secondary school and enter a school’s sixth form. Each school on the Island has a provision for its sixth form pupils to re-take their Maths and English GCSEs. If pupils attain a D in the subjects they also have the option to re-take the exams at Isle of Man College. However, a number of young people find it difficult to re-take English and Maths and to attain the GCSE ‘passport’ into employment which many of them need and they are more likely to remain without employment, education or training – and it is young people in this situation who will benefit from EPiCENTRE. In addition to academic studies the project will also include social education focusing on developing practical, behavioural and communication skills, and meaningful work placements.
If this inaugural EPiCENTRE project proves to be a success then The Children’s Centre will be looking to run it for the 2014/2015 academic year and expand the number of places available to students. Based on the initial response by young people wanting to take part, EPiCENTRE appears to be fulfilling a vital role for students entering an increasingly competitive employment market. For more information about EPiCENTRE contact Juana Warburton by calling 676076 or emailing email@example.com