Students from Stevenson College Edinburgh’s Prince’s Trust Team Programme will graduate  later on today, in a small graduation ceremony to be held at the College.  At a time when the outlook for many young people remains uncertain, with high youth unemployment figures announced earlier this month, Stevenson is proud to announce the achievements of this group of students.

Of the nine students graduating, many have had applications accepted for further training at college, apprenticeships and work place training.

Rachel Connolly, Programme Leader at Stevenson College Edinburgh, commented:
“I am so proud of this group of students. Like so many young people, these students left school with no qualifications and had been unemployed for a year or two before joining The Prince’s Trust Team Programme. The experiences they have gained and the challenges they faced throughout their 12 week programme have been life changing and allowed them to really change their direction in life. Without this programme it is possible that they would still be facing long term unemployment. Giving disadvantaged young people the opportunity to experience work is not only a huge benefit to the individual but to the community they live in and can have a positive influence on their peers, many of whom will have been in a similar position on leaving school.”

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is a 12 week programme which supports young, unemployed people aged 16 – 25, many of whom have left school without any qualifications, to find employment, education or training opportunities by developing their confidence, motivation and work skills.  They become part of a team of up to 15 students from different backgrounds and levels of achievement, which offers them the invaluable opportunity to open their minds to different sets of views and behaviours.  Together they embark upon team work in the community as well as individual work placements and, towards the end of the programme, they are supported to apply for further work placements, training, college courses or employment.

Director of The Prince’s Trust, Geraldine Gammell, added:
“We are delighted for these students and what they have achieved. Stevenson has a great team who have supported students from a range of backgrounds over the years – young people leaving school with no qualifications, who have been in trouble with the law or have spent years of their childhood in care – who for one reason or another may have felt excluded from the everyday life. The Team programme is designed to help the hardest to reach young people re-engage with training and development and gives them the opportunity to take on new challenges and realise their own potential..  What we do works. Even in these tough economic times, more than three-quarters of young people helped by The Trust go on to work, education or training.”

Michael Hughes, 17, is one of the students who will be graduating on Thursday. Michael joined The Prince’s Trust Team Programme after leaving school with no qualifications:

“I wasn’t sure where my life was going but joining The Prince’s Trust programme has helped me realise I have skills I can use in a job and helped me work out what I want to do with my life. I had a work placement with Leith FM which was great and I’m hoping to carry on volunteering there while I complete a college creative arts college course.”

Over 130, 000 people have taken part in The Prince’s Trust Team programme throughout the UK since it was launched in 1990.