Training merger is boost for ‘forgotten generation’ of Newham young

Young people across east London have been given a real boost in helping them get their first step on the employment ladder with merger of the region’s top vocational training charities.

Stratford based ‘Landmark Training’ and Bexleyheath based ‘Skills for Growth’, both long established charities with impressive success records, have joined forces and will look to access a share of the �1bn additional funding recently announced by the Government for work based learning.

The strengthened charity will continue to assist those ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ (NEET), by providing additional opportunities and courses, to be delivered across nine east London borough councils, north and south of the Thames. (Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Dartford, Greenwich, Lewisham, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets).

Working with a variety of local authorities, businesses, schools and youth & community groups, the merged charity will operate in the short term under the Skills for Growth/Landmark name delivering a diverse range of vocational training courses, plus providing advice and support. It currently has a Government funded budget approaching �4m, augmented by employer financial contributions to training, and is headed by Ashley McCaul, the current CEO of Skills for Growth. The merged charity will subsequently develop a new brand identity that reflects its growing vocational training and employment offerings, to be launched in early 2012.

Ashley McCaul, CEO for Skills for Growth, said: “Landmark’s expertise lies in delivering Foundation Learning and support for 14 to 19 year olds, while Skills for Growth has been particularly successful in providing a range of apprenticeships and training programmes for the 16-25 age range. This merger is therefore a perfect fit as it brings the skills gained in both these areas together. We focus on equipping young people, from a cross‑section of backgrounds, with the skills and opportunities they need to gain long‑term sustainable employment. We will now provide a much enhanced end-to-end training programme to what has been dubbed ‘the forgotten generation’, based on knowledge and experience and then deliver this out across a wider geographic area.”