Providing our young people with the skills, the experience and the opportunity to work is a key element of our approach at Prior’s Court – and offering the latter is something which starts on site.

One of our young people, Ricardo, has this week started a work placement within our Estates team, which manages the buildings, facilities and grounds of our 55-acre site.

Ricardo’s first task was to paint one of the walls in our main Court House building which is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation.

Ricardo is one of the young people on our Trade Skills vocational stream in which he learns skills such as wood-working, brick-laying and general DIY, including painting.

The ambition for our young people within our vocational streams is to learn these skills within the classroom and then transition them to work placements internally and externally and then onto paid work. Read more about our vocational streams approach here.

With the Trade Skills stream, not only are these skills transferrable to the world of work, they are also key life skills which can help our young people to live independently in later life.

Jamie Yeates, Job Coach within the stream, said: “As the stream developed, we recognised that some of our young people needed work placements to be able to continue their progress.

“The Estates team has always been very keen to have some of our young people join them on work placements so we explored how we could take this forward.

“It was great to see this partnership working come together and how much Ricardo enjoyed himself on this work placement – he actually wanted to carry on and do the rest of the room which was brilliant.”

Mark Bailey, Estates Manager, said: “You could see how excited Ricardo was when he arrived which was fabulous.

“It is very important that we as an Estates team, and Prior’s Court as a whole, demonstrate the positive contributions our young people can make to the workplace and Ricardo’s work placement is a prime example of this.”

The Trade Skills stream also works with the Estates team to provide a cleaning service to our fleet of minibuses.

Jamie added: “The Trade Skills stream has an established on-site car washing service so it was a natural fit for this to go on to include cleaning the Prior’s Court minibuses.”