The Welsh Government’s ‘Summer Sorted’ programme has this year helped hundreds of young people across Wales reach their potential and improve their employability and essential skills, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates has said.
The programme, which takes place over the school summer holiday period each year, is aimed at young people who have recently completed Year 11 but need some further support to help transition onto further education training or employment.
Due to social distancing restrictions in place this summer due to coronavirus, learners were provided with the opportunity to take part in a programme of online/remote learning activities led by training providers.
This provided an opportunity for many to bolster their digital technology and online communication capabilities, alongside a focus on improving their key skills and providing information and support on health and wellbeing.
This was done through a combination of online group activities and one to one support this year, with close to 550 learners taking part in total. Many successfully secured college or training places in September after significantly improving their outcomes thanks to the programme.
Where learners where not able to access learning online, materials were sent in the post and additional support was provided over the telephone.
Participants in this year’s programme have praised the flexibility of learning options available to them.
“It was an amazing experience. I loved doing it, I've learned so many new skills and how I can work on different things I'm not good at. I'd like to say thank you for giving me this experience I really appreciate it.
While another added:
“My mentor has been ever so supportive and patient. I believe it will be really helpful when I start college in September.
Rob Peebles, an essential skills tutor for ACT Training - one of the providers of the Summer Sorted initiative - said of this year’s programme:
“The digital tools and resources we have been using make remote learning so much more effective and enjoyable for learners. Remote learning is new to us all but I think we are adapting brilliantly and have had some great feedback from learners.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said:
“The Welsh Government is determined to support people throughout Wales and help them reach their potential.
“This year has been one of the most difficult we have ever known as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, putting unprecedented pressure on our economy. But it has also highlighted the importance of having a workforce equipped to tackle challenges and which is ready for the opportunities of tomorrow.
“Programmes like Summer Sorted are crucial in helping us future-proof the Welsh economy to create an even more resilient and talented workforce.