Training course gets thumbs-up from inspectors

A PROGRAMME to help young people into employment has been rated ‘outstanding’ by inspectors.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service runs the 12-week course for 16 to 25-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training to help them get a foot on the career ladder.

The Prince’s Trust Team programme sees six courses run each year, three rural and three urban, with 14 people in each.

Participants take part in a range of activities, including a residential team-building trip, community project, work placements and a team challenge to raise funds for a local good cause.

There are tasks to develop presentation skills and help to reach the next step in training or job search.

Assessments are regularly carried out by the Prince’s Trust executive and in the latest review the scheme has been rated outstanding for outcomes for learners, leadership and management, and capacity to make and sustain improvements.

Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett said: “This programme aims to equip young people for the world of employment and training and help them overcome any barriers to doing this in an environment of mutual support and respect.

“Feedback from those who have taken part over the 12 weeks is extremely positive. It is no exaggeration to say that for some of the young people who have completed the course the experience has been life-changing.

“We are very pleased that the team programme and work of the officers who run it has been given such an outstanding endorsement from our partners at the Prince’s Trust.”

One of the course participants, apprentice Bethany Cross, of Cramlington, was presented with the Flying Start accolade, for those who have overcome barriers to transform their lives and find employment, at the trust’s North East Celebrate Success Awards in November.

Northumberland County Council Executive Member for Public Protection Anita Romer said: “The results of this fantastic course speak for themselves, but confirmation from the Prince’s Trust that this is an outstanding programme is very important.

“The fire service, the officers who run the programme and the young participants who complete the course should all be congratulated on this achievement.”

The next programmes will begin on Monday, April 29, and run until Thursday, July 18.

For more information about the urban course contact John Young on 01670 621150 or email

For the rural course contact Shaun Arundel on 01670 621168 or email