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UK: Thanet Earth and Hadlow College start new work academy

The first group of students have graduated from the new Sector Based Work Academy at Thanet Earth, near Birchington in Kent. Five participants were selected for the scheme by the Job Centre Plus in Margate, where the group of jobseekers are being supported back into work.

Taking place at Thanet Earth, over a five-week period, the group spent time with specialist trainers and mentors from the land-based learning centre of excellence, Hadlow College. They were also given time with managers at Thanet Earth, who provided a practical slant to the course and who oversaw a work experience element that gave the participants time working in all of the operational areas of the Thanet Earth business. This structured programme of learning and on-the-job training was designed specifically to provide new skills, insight and experience for the group and is part of a national scheme called Movement to Work.

The food, agriculture and horticulture sector is a very important part of the Kent economy, with considerable further opportunity for growth. This needs to be supported by an enthusiastic, engaged workforce, and there are many career paths available.

Each academy graduate received a full day’s introduction to the HACCP food safety management system, and each passed a food hygiene course. The Hadlow College tutors provided sessions on interview skills and preparation of a CV. Throughout the process participants were able to ask questions and apply their learning to a practical situation within the Thanet Earth business.

The ultimate aim was for each academy graduate to leave with a greater confidence, with new skills to help them succeed at interviews, and with a better understanding of the routine, the expectations and the opportunities that come with an employed role.

Thanet Earth managing director, Des Kingsley, said: “I’d like to give special thanks to Lesley Gregson, the employability lecturer from Hadlow College. With her support, the confidence of each academy member has increased significantly. One part of the picture is having the right skills for the job, but the ability to communicate that you have the right skills can be a challenge. This academy scheme has helped its five graduates to take a more confident step forward into work.”

At a special celebration event at Thanet Earth to mark the completion of this round of the academy, Des went on to thank Sarah Quattroluni, the education officer at Thanet Earth, and the rest of the team who have committed so much time and passion to the project. Each academy student was presented with a completion certificate. The hope is that each graduate will take forward their search for work, supported by the Job Centre Plus, but with new skills that will make them ultimately much more employable in the future.

For more information:
Thanet Earth
Judy Whittaker, Communications Manager
+44(0)1892 831222
[email protected]
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