Traineeships - restoring confidence and bringing out hidden talents

Paige and chloe


School doesn’t bring out the best in every pupil - every year, students leave without qualifications.

The Covid-19 pandemic has added to the numbers by badly affecting students’ time in the classroom. Many could be facing long-term unemployment.

Traineeships run by the Source can turn young people’s lives around.

Lasting up to six months, a traineeship is an educational training programme which prepares unemployed 16-18-year-olds for work.

Tutors help trainees build confidence, improve Maths and English skills, gain qualifications and develop a professional attitude to work.

Up to eight weeks of work experience with a local business is a vital part of the learning process and has led to many trainees gaining apprenticeships or jobs.

The academy is appealing to SCR businesses to add their support by providing work experience placements or recruiting trainees who have successfully completed the programme.

The Source’s Community and Employability Team has been running the Traineeship programme for four years. 

Manager Helen Lee said: “We give young people a new start and our work is even more crucial now. Many have had their education severely disrupted. 

“Those whose qualifications and confidence have suffered can take up our traineeships to improve in key subjects and gain a deeper understanding about the world or work.

Last year’s trainees passed with flying colours but there were few jobs and apprenticeships for them to go into. Many are still waiting for their chance.”

Thankfully some businesses bounced back when restrictions eased later in the year and the first cohort of the current academic year’s trainees fared much better.

Some 73 percent progressed into apprenticeships in the NHS, Ford Motors, and the Yorkshire Accommodation Bureau. Others went into further training or gained jobs - The Source itself took on one of the recruits.

More trainees will be looking for work when they finish their course in July and Helen’s team is keen to work with more local businesses who could offer them a future.

A new Traineeship programme is starting in August. Go to for info.

Paige turned over a new leaf with a Traineeship:

Paige Jordan, 17, from Brightside, hated school and left Hinde House Secondary in 2019 with no qualifications.

She gained a health and social care level 1 qualification at Sheffield College and was re-sitting Maths and English GCSEs when the pandemic hit and ruined her chances.

“The lockdowns made me rethink my future,” said Paige. “I was stuck inside with nothing to do for months and I realised I had to get my life on track.

“My dad motivated me. He is unemployed and wanted a better life for me. He contacted The Source and I went for an induction day. I found out about Traineeships and began my course in September 2020.”

Added Paige: “At first I was really scared. I didn’t know anyone. Then I realised it was my chance to start afresh.”

She gained Maths and English Functional Skills Level 2 and a digital skills qualification and enjoyed a month’s work placement with Balfour Carpets in Sheffield, a supporter of the Source’s scheme. It wanted to offer Paige a job, but sadly the January 2021 lockdown made it impossible.

However its positive feedback impressed The Source so much, it set on Paige in the Facilities Team. Her work ethic has been so good she is also now one of the friendly faces on reception.

“Last year I was a student with no idea of what I could do. Now I feel like an adult and I can see a future,” said Paige, who will soon be studying a Level 2 Customer Service qualification.

“A Traineeship is a really good stepping stone for anyone who is stuck like I was. All the staff are really nice; they treat you like a grown up.

“My parents have noticed a big difference in me and are really proud I’ve got somewhere.”

Praise from Paige's tutor Chloe Granger:

When Paige first came to sessions, she was very shy. She sat at the back and rarely spoke. But team-building activities brought her out of her shell and she progressed week on week.

She never missed a lesson and that shy girl disappeared.

Her first work placement wasn’t right for her, but when we got her on one she was more suited to, she really enjoyed it and got great feedback.

We had to undertake the last few months of her traineeship - the Next Steps phase - remotely during lockdown, but she coped brilliantly.

She now has qualifications, more confidence and is happy to tackle new things. I can see how much potential she has.

It is really nice to be able to help people like Paige grow to where she is now. That’s why I do this job.


Interested in finding out more about our apprenticeship and traineeship offers? Click Here to book a free session with one of our tutors.

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