Doncaster has really changed over the last few years and, as I walk around the town centre now, I can see the difference that partnership working can make to an area.
We’ve got a fantastic new theatre, Cast, new Civic offices which are a hive of activity, a revitalised Frenchgate Shopping Centre and a town which is realising its potential. But we can all do more.
We have a generation of young people who are facing a different world to the one we faced when we left school, college or university.
The economic climate has meant that there are fewer jobs and fewer opportunities for this sector of society – they need our help and support to give them the right start.
At Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust we work with the colleges, the local authority and other partners to offer apprenticeships and have taken an innovative and proactive approach to working with a selection of unemployed people from the area to help them become qualified leisure staff.
Our Sector Based Work Academy, which we launched last year, offers a structured five-week programme for successful applicants aged 19 and above, providing them with accredited first aid training, National Pool Lifeguard, pre-employment classes and practical work experience, before putting them forward for a guaranteed job interview after the final week.
We are proud to be a part of this great scheme, along with The Jobcentre Plus and Dearne Valley College.
We can see the difference we can make in other areas of people’s lives by thinking a little differently.
I’d urge the many large businesses in Doncaster to get involved in helping reduce unemployment by setting up schemes like ours. Working together we can make a difference and we are building better, stronger communities which will help to shape Doncaster.
* Michael Hart, Chief executive, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust