Following its official opening in February 2010, the SKIDZ Hillingdon Road User Education Project part-funded by a three year, £375,000 investment donation from Porsche Cars GB, has released extremely positive results for its first year of operation.
The project, which enables a number of young people from across the Hillingdon borough to get involved in all aspects of motor vehicle maintenance and road usage safety, has enrolled 246 young-people aged between 13 and 19 on a variety of courses so far.
Interest in the scheme has exceeded initial expectations with double the amount of students signing up to one of over 300 specially designed sessions in 2010. Participants described the course as "helpful and motivating" and praised the interesting content and brilliant tutors and staff on the programme.
Investment continues in 2011 with the final donation from Porsche helping to extend workshop facilities at the site in West Drayton, adding ramps and eventually a vehicle valet area, increasing the scope of courses available. The SKIDZ team hope that at least 150 new students will join the programme during the forthcoming year.
Steve Godfrey, Director of the SKIDZ Motor Project said, "The reaction to the project from the whole Hillingdon community has been extremely encouraging. With the funding from Porsche, SKIDZ has been able to improve facilities at the Hillingdon site to offer a variety of qualifications that help to prepare participants for future employment. It has been fantastic to hear of students completing courses, and moving to jobs within the motor industry."
Each participant is awarded a qualification upon completion of their course, this ranges from AQA accredited, Unit Award Scheme recognition to the industry standard, IMI Level One, Certificate in Motor Mechanics. The SKIDZ Hillingdon Project has also recently been recognised as an IMI Approved Assessment Centre, enabling higher-level courses in motor mechanics to be offered from September 2011.
All courses on the programme are delivered in an adult work-style environment to prepare participants for finding future employment. So far 106 young people have completed courses and graduated from the project. Many have continued in education, enrolling with local colleges to undertake further courses in Motor mechanics, several older participants have gone on to secure a job within the industry.
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