In a move to raise educational achievement and tackle the growing problem of youth unemployment in inner city areas, training provider Youthforce has teamed up with local schools to offer young people a unique apprenticeship opportunity. Breaking away from traditional construction and engineering apprenticeships, Youthforce has developed Teaching Assistant Apprenticeships in Portsmouth with amazing results.

This year 10 Portsmouth Schools signed up to the programme offering young people paid employment as Teaching Assistants in Primary and Secondary Schools. The apprenticeship gives young people full-time employment while they gain experience and qualifications that enable them to enhance the classroom experience for children in Portsmouth.

Dave Jones, Head Teacher at Craneswater Junior School recognises the impact in the classroom. “Our apprentices have made a massive impact in the School. They learn quickly and bring fresh thinking and ideas into the school.” He goes on to explain the importance of the benefits of the apprenticeship to his School. “The scheme means we have more trained staff to support the learning here at Craneswater which is good news for all.”

For young people on the programme it has been a busy year. “The work is challenging but I absolutely love it” says Daisy Holland who supports young people with a range of learning difficulties at Redwood Park School. “I spend a lot of time dealing with children with complex needs. I’m learning loads every day about how best to help them learn new things and develop. The apprenticeship has made me rethink my career and I am keen to carry on learning and move into teaching or another specialist supporting position.”

“Schools are a great place to undertake an apprenticeship and young people are really attracted to our offer at a time when many are thinking about alternatives to University.” says Richard Davis from Youthforce. “The growth and learning in the apprentices working in schools is huge and whilst it’s incredibly challenging for the apprentices they are thriving in our partner schools across the city.”

The programme is set to grow in 2014 with more schools coming on board across London and the South East. Anyone interested in undertaking an apprenticeship with Youthforce can find out more by simply filling out the

Apprenticeship Sign-Up Form