Jersey employment scheme closed after funds 'redirected' by government

  • Traineeship graduate Harvey explains the difference the scheme has made to him

An employment scheme for young people in Jersey has been forced to close after the government pulled its funding.

The £40,000 budget which is used to run the Skills Jersey Traineeship has been 'redirected' into other educational projects.

The scheme helps young people in Jersey gain more life skills outside of the classroom which will aid them as they enter the world of work.

More than 30 locals have benefited from mentoring over the past two years.

One student who benefitted from the programme says it has made a huge difference to his future.

Harvey De Ste Croix, who graduated this month from the traineeship, explained: "My confidence was rock bottom to start with and now it's just got much better now I've graduated.

"I was really nervous to start because we had to meet new people but gradually when we met on the day-to-day, we got really comfortable with each other and it felt like an actual friendship group rather than a course."

As part of the traineeship, students are able to receive insight days and placements across several industries, giving them the opportunity to try out several careers and see which one is best suited to them.

It was this variety of choices which helped Harvey more excited about his future.

Harvey says he was able to build on his interest in the media thanks to the traineeship. Credit: ITV Channel

Harvey explained: "For those people who don't know what they want to do, being on the traineeship you get to see loads and loads of different careers and you get to see the insides and the outsides of each one."

In recent weeks, the Government of Jersey have reshuffled the education budget and reallocated the funding used by the Skills Jersey Traineeship.

Ministers have stressed that the budget has not been cut, but instead moved to benefit existing educational programmes.

Constable Richard Vibert, Jersey's Assistant Children's Minister, said: "It's absolutely essential we fund these programmes because there will be those children who finish education and don't have any certainty on what to do next and don't necessarily want to go to University. It's essential that we have schemes like this for them.

"We've rationalised the current system but we haven't withdrawn anything, so it's exactly the same services available."

Constable Richard Vibert, Jersey's Assistant Children's Minister Credit: ITV Channel

Students who completed the traineeship have expressed their disappointment with its closure, saying they would have liked to see more people have the special experiences they were lucky to have.

Harvey added: "I do feel bad for them because they're not going to experience and be able to experience what we experienced with the traineeship.

"I feel like it's very beneficial for the younger ones out there who don't know what they want to do.

"I just think the traineeship is a really good experience and it's kind of sad that it's coming to an end."

Whilst Skills Jersey will no longer be providing their traineeship scheme, they will continue to work alongside colleagues at the Jersey Youth Service and Highlands College to deliver their NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) programmes.

Deputy Principal of Highlands College, Robert Moy, said: “Highlands College offers a Government of Jersey funded programme for young people who are NEETs: Re-Engage programme.

"This programme offers young people aged 16-25 the support they need to re-engage with education and training, providing targeted intervention, tailored support, and the ability to develop practical, vocational and baseline academic skills.

“Many NEETs face additional barriers and challenges to accessing employment and education. Providing additional support alongside access to training and work experience is key to making sure that all young people can reach their potential and gain suitable, long-term employment.”  

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