JP Alternative Education, based on a 35-acre site on Cannock Chase, uses outdoor activities such as horse-riding, water sports and mountain biking to engage, nurture and raise the self-esteem of young people who struggle with mainstream education.
When JP Alternative Education was looking for new staff, PTP – part of Ladder for Staffordshire –delivered a two-week pre-employment programme using the Adult Education Budget in partnership with Department for Work and Pensions.
Paul Smith, business development manager at PTP, part of the BCTG Group, said: “We worked with six female candidates who were unemployed and had been referred from Cannock Job Centre.
“Based on the employer’s requirements, our programme included safeguarding, mental health and behaviours training, along with work experience at JP Alternative Education.
“After attending a guaranteed interview following the programme, all six candidates were offered employment and started work on April 17.
“It was a privilege to meet and work with these women who attended every session for two weeks and came with a smile and were enthusiastic and determined to secure employment.
“They were six total strangers before they started the course, but now have a WhatsApp group set up so they can communicate with each other, which is a great result of how well they worked together.”
Mr Smith added: “I want to thank the staff at the Job Centre in Cannock who were very supportive, ensuring that their work coaches found suitable candidates to refer to our programme.
Gayla Ashford, a director at JP Alternative Education, said: “We are very pleased at the six new staff that PTP have helped us to recruit to these crucial roles supporting children who do not attend mainstream education, it was well organised and a slick process”
Ms Ashford explained that the staff would now be working with individuals and groups of pupils on programmes that are carefully tailored to integrate outdoor activities, awards and qualifications.
She added: “The surroundings on Cannock Chase where we are based create a calm and safe environment for learning, which is available for half-day, full-day or a couple of days, short or long term.
“Along with awards for all ages in activities including horse-riding, water sports, bushcraft, climbing, and mountain biking, we link in Level 1 & 2 Awards and functional skills for Year 10 and Year 11s.”