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HRH The Duke of York visited WorkingRite on Wednesday 5th February, a charity dedicated to tackling youth unemployment across East Sussex. WorkingRite matches local young people with small, local businesses for a programme of extended, paid training and mentoring.

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HRH The Duke of York at WorkingRite

The Duke met trainees and local employers at WorkingRite’s Hastings office on Cambridge Road. “Education and skills are keen interests of the Duke and this was a great opportunity for him to learn about WorkingRite’s innovative programme”, says Sandy Campbell Founder and Director of the charity.

“Many of our youngsters have struggled with school, or have come from difficult backgrounds, but the WorkingRite programme provides them with good role models. The programme gives them real experience of the workplace and bolsters their confidence. These are all essential for improving young people’s employability and ensuring a more secure, fulfilling adulthood”.

WorkingRite Trainees participate in a unique work-based learning and mentoring programme for up to six months and are paid a training allowance of £70 per week. Each young person is paired with an adult mentor in the workplace who not only teaches their mentee the skills of their trade, but also guides them in the attributes required in the workplace such as professionalism, punctuality and enthusiasm. English and Maths are also seen as essential for life and work and are integral to the programme.

Many young people in East Sussex are struggling to find work. In December 2013, the county’s youth unemployment rate was 7%, but higher in Hastings. Mr Campbell explains, “WorkingRite is providing a vital lifeline into employment for young people with limited options post-16. Finding work in the current market is not easy but by training young people on the job and getting their Maths and English up to standard, we are bridging the gap between school and the world of work”.

Since August, 67% of WorkingRite trainees in Hastings have progressed to a job, further education or an Apprenticeship. For those with few qualifications, it offers a viable route into a rewarding career.

You can see more of what they do by going to their website here and check out the gallery below (All images used with permission from WorkingRite)