Eight young women graduate from Moneypenny Foundation with help from Glyndŵr University
October 26 2015
EIGHT young women from the Wrexham area are celebrating their 'graduation' from the Moneypenny Foundation after a six month traineeship which included time working at Glyndŵr University.
Up until the May these young women were all unemployed with few prospects. Now, as a result of the intervening months as Moneypenny Foundation trainees they are all looking forward to moving into full-time work, apprenticeships or education.
The Foundation was launched in 2014 by Moneypenny’s co-founder Rachel Clacher to give unemployed young people new opportunities in life and work. As well as paid work experience in a variety of employment sectors across Wrexham, the Foundation also comprises life coaching, mentoring and the opportunity to gain a host of skills while trying out new activities.
Candidates for the Foundation are chosen in partnership with a range of agencies working in Wrexham with the aim of giving each trainee the support they need to get their lives on track.
Rachel said: “Following on from the success of the pilot project last year, the challenge was to repeat the traineeship, with the learnings we had gained, and deliver a robust, effective and challenging 26 weeks.
"This is no ordinary traineeship. We aim to complement meaningful work experience with a holistic and highly varied six month programme that allows our trainees to broaden their horizons, develop their skills and increase self-confidence.
“The Foundation encourages the trainees out of their comfort zone, helping them to identify their strengths and weaknesses, while thinking about what they want in life. With support, they work to maximise their potential and achieve their ambitions and this year again they have created strong friendships among themselves.
"Crucially, also, they have strengthened their trust in others, and ultimately they each now recognise the power of having a choice. The fact that every one of our 2015 trainees are now moving onto work or education demonstrates the power of this holistic approach.”
The trainees spent one month at a time experiencing different work types, including housekeeping, adult care, administration, customer services, HR, training and hospitality, with an individual combination of five of the following local employers: Ramada Plaza Hotel, Pendine Park Care Home, Keycom Plc, Jolly Good Van Hire, Wrexham County Council Contact Shop, Glyndŵr University Careers Service and Moneypenny.
Diane Aplin, Moneypenny Foundation Director, added: “We are so grateful to everyone connected to the Foundation for helping to make it possible. We could not deliver the traineeship without the support of our employer partners who give the young trainees an invaluable opportunity to find out for themselves where their talents, passions and careers may lie.
"Support from Coleg Cambria and Glyndŵr University is crucial too in enabling the trainees to improve on their essential skills and academic qualifications. With their help, some of our new graduates now have a choice of returning to full time education.
“The Foundation is very much about new experiences and having fun too and we have received tremendous support from so many different people along the way.
"I would like to thank our coaching team, which this year for the first time has included Matt Thomas from Jamie Oliver’s 15 programme, and again this year we have appreciated the involvement of The Outward Bound Trust as well as those Moneypenny staff who have supported the trainees as volunteer mentors.”
Rachel and Diane concluded: “We are so proud of the achievements of all of the trainees. The hard work and commitment of these young women over the past six months means that they have gone from being unemployed, and with little to look forward to, to today having a future of choices and independence.
"They have all worked so hard and have truly embraced every opportunity. It’s a privilege to have been a part of their journey and as we congratulate them on their graduation, we wish them every success and happiness in all they go on to achieve in the future.”
The Foundation will be starting again in April 2016 and Rachel and Diane now hope to roll out the Foundation model to other large employers.