29th November 2018

By Karen Chapple, Youth Skills Manager, ONE Haverhill Partnership

As soon as the job advert appeared in the Haverhill Echo, I had friends and family saying it was perfect for me.

Five years ago, the position of Youth Skills Manager for ONE Haverhill Partnership was advertised to support, among other things, a greater emphasis of the apprenticeship scheme in our town.

I had experience of working with different businesses as a regional manager and my passion was working with young people. So as soon as I saw the advert, I knew I wanted the position.

Looking back, the only thing that was a little daunting was the aim to find work for 10 apprentices in the first year. By the end of 12 months, we had found 50.

I think there was a gap in provision and we launched our apprenticeship scheme at the right time.

I have always been hugely passionate about supporting young people and trying to make a difference to their lives.

When I started, I would knock on every door to try and get employers to engage with the scheme. I had both a bricklayer and painter and decorator work at my house and before they had left, they had signed up for an apprentice.

It was great to have that initial support and when we started finding apprentices, I didn’t want to let it go. I was brought up in Haverhill and live in Haverhill and the contacts with local employers, schools and young people have always been so important.

The success of the apprenticeship scheme has been a team effort within an incredibly supportive community.

Over the last five years, the need for apprentices in Haverhill has largely been consistent year-on-year. I think it has been successful because we work very closely with both employers and young people to ensure there is the right match between apprentice and the job being advertised.

I have always believed the lives of young people can be changed if they have the right support at the right time.

There are so many great parents out there, but sometimes young people need to hear from someone different – even if the message is the same as what they are being told at home.

Every young person is different and the support they need is different. But we tailor it to suit their needs and the needs of local employers.

To find out more about ONE Haverhill Partnership’s apprenticeship scheme, please email  youthskillsmanager@onehaverhill.co.uk or call Karen on 07463 149045.

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Apprenticeship Awards 2018

"The role of Youth Skills Manager has always appealed to me because it is flexible and can be tailored around the young people we are trying to support.

We can see if there is a gap in services or support and often answer that need by looking for funding and working with partners."

Karen Chapple, Youth Skills Manager

ONE Haverhill
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