Rutland has lowest number of 'NEETs' in the East Midlands
Latest figures show that Rutland has the highest recorded level of 16 and 17-year-olds in training or full-time education in the East Midlands.
The Department for Education's latest annual activity survey, known as the September Guarantee, shows that 99 per cent of young people in Rutland are in post-16 education or employment-related training.
Those who are 'not in education, employment or training' are referred to as NEETs. There are fewer than 10 people are currently classified as NEETs in Rutland and each of their individual circumstances are known.
Brandon Wood, 20, works for Belvoir Associates in Oakham after Rutland County Council’s Education Support Team helped him to make the transition from college into full-time employment.
“I did enjoy college but remember being really nervous on my first day,” says Brandon.
“There were lots of new people and I didn’t really know what to do. It did feel a bit like being thrown in at the deep end. I wasn’t very confident back then. I was shy and quite nervous in social situations.
“I studied design and motor vehicle mechanics at college because I’ve always been creative and had a big passion for motorbikes. I thought I could combine the two into a career.
“When I left college I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do. I had no idea where to start off to find a job. I approached the JobCentre to look at a couple of apprenticeships to work on motorcycles, or anything with an engine, but didn’t have enough experience for those. Other jobs they offered me were too far away to travel.”
Before going to college in Stamford, Brandon attended secondary school in Rutland and had a pre-existing Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan with the county council. This meant he could access additional advice and support through an education and careers advisor.
Through the council, Brandon joined up to a five-step programme that looks at young people’s skills and qualities and tries to match them with what employers are looking for.
“The education support team helped me a lot,” explains Brandon.
“They gave me the confidence to go out there, meet new people and hold conversations. I used to be really nervous picking up the phone but I built my confidence to the point where I could ring up and ask about jobs.
“I was still looking for jobs when my grandad suggested Belvoir Associates. I got in touch to ask about any vacancies and was offered a trial role processing and dispatching furniture orders. I’ve now been there for almost six months as a full-time employee and really enjoying it.
“I’m working towards gaining more experience and responsibility. The dream is still to work with bikes one day but, right now, I’m very happy where am. I’m looking forward to seeing where the path takes me and enjoying earning and saving
“Before I had a job I hated relying on my grandparents and needing their help. That really spurred me on to get my own job. The support I’ve had has given me independence and now I can help them, instead.”
Mark Andrews, strategic director for people services at Rutland County Council, said: “We carefully track the activity of all students in Year 11 and 12, so we can offer them the right support and help them achieve their potential.
“We have a dedicated Education Support Team that can help young people in Rutland plan for their future.
"As part of this, we work closely with secondary schools during the spring and summer terms, which is when GCSE and A-Level exams are in full swing.
"This allows us to provide direct support to students when they need it most.”
Rutland County Council also supports young people who have dropped out of full-time education. Throughout the academic year, post-16 education providers notify council officers if young people have left their course for any reason.
This allows the council’s Youth, Education and Careers Team to provide tailored support to help them back into learning.
Mark added: “Supporting our young people to get the most out of full-time education and training is vital so that they aim high and achieve their ambitions. It’s also important for economic development in our area as businesses look for employees with the right skills and qualities to grow their workforce.”
Parents, carers and young people who want to find out more about educational support services available in Rutland can contact Suzanne White, early help co-ordinator youth and community development, at Rutland County Council, by calling 01572 758301 or e-mailing SWhite@rutland.gov.uk.