Businessman's bold vision to launch training facility for young people - The Evesham Observer

Businessman's bold vision to launch training facility for young people

Evesham Editorial 7th Apr, 2017   0

AN EVESHAM businessman has launched an ambitious plan to set up a training facility for young people who have been ‘failed’ by the education system.

John Campbell-Muir, owner of building firm Muirs of Evesham, has spoken to the Observer about his bold ‘Training the Future’ project – an idea he came up with after becoming angry at the lack of job opportunities for those he feels the education system has left behind.

The training facility, called ‘The Yard,’ would see 16-25-year-olds trained up in areas such as bricklaying, garden improvement and building labourers to give them the skills needed to get a job.

The ambitious businessman has already held talks with Evesham College about the possibility of the trainees at the facility also gaining qualifications. He’s also hoping to link up with local employers to boost the chances of the trainees getting full-time jobs.

Mr Campbell-Muir has already set up a community group, with 10 committee members, to help make his vision a reality. The group are already in the process of becoming a not-for-profit charitable group so they can begin applying for funding to build ‘The Yard.’

His idea to set up a training facility began four years ago when he took on a teenager who had just been released from prison and was struggling to find a job.

“I had just taken on a lad who had just come out of prison and he had been with me for about six months,” John said.

“I looked at the apprenticeship scheme and found that he wasn’t qualified enough because you have to have a C in maths and English.

“This troubled me because I thought about the kids who don’t get any qualifications – the apprenticeship scheme is suppose to be for all.

Mr Campbell-Muir added how he struggled to find any support for the teenager to help him get a job and this was when he began putting together the proposals for ‘Training the Future’ about 12 months ago.

“This angered me, but instead of sitting there and moaning I thought about what I can do about it,” he added.

“We really have only chance with these kids. We need to catch them young enough, train them, give them a wage and give them a sense of pride in what they do.

“The idea has been born from all the people I have spoken to over the past four years about this.

“It has to become self-funding because then it becomes a repetitive cycle and it goes on for generations.

“If I get The Yard set up I can get ten kids, train them up to be multi-tooled, multi-trained and then turn it into a work agency. I can then contact all the builders in the area with the idea of giving them work experience. Also, the builders in the area can see the work they do and hire them.”

The local businessman is also in need of land in the town to be able to build the training facility and he is appealing to residents and businesses to get in touch if they know of any land available.

For more information search ‘Training the Future’ on Facebook or call John on 01386 423356.

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