Little Gate Farm launches supported apprentice scheme

Little Gate Farm has announced the launch of its Supported Apprentice Scheme, following a grant from the National Lottery.

Little Gate Supported Employment will be creating apprenticeships for 50 young people by working with local employers, the Beckley based charity hopes to improve job prospects for young adults that may feel limited in career choices.

Little Gate has five years’ experience in improving  the lives of learning disabled, autistic, and vulnerable children and adults in East Sussex and have already supported over 40 people with autism and learning disabilities into paid work.

Little Gate Farm CEO and founder, Claire Cordell said: “This scheme means we can find real jobs for our young people aged 16 – 25 with local employers. We are really excited about the opportunities this will bring to local businesses and the enrichment it will bring to the apprentices involved.”

L-r: leader of the council, Peter Chowney, Jennifer Law, supported employment lead, Marisa Stewart, apprentice, Justine Munro, job coach, and Verna Connolly, Executive Manager (people and business support) for HBC.

Hastings Borough Council (HBC) is one of the first large businesses in Hastings to back the scheme.  They are supporting an apprentice post and a trainee post in 2019.

Councillor Peter Chowney, leader of HBC says supporting Little Gate fits with the council’s ethos: “Little Gate Farm’s fantastic Supported Apprenticeship Scheme fits perfectly with HBC’s ethos of supporting the local area and giving our young people real opportunities to experience the world of work. We’re hugely excited to be involved and are really looking forward to welcoming our new recruits.”

Both the employer and apprentice will be fully supported by a job coach and training provider throughout the apprenticeship and traineeship.

Huw Merriman MP for Bexhill and Battle is hugely supportive of the programme and says: “I have been working closely with Little Gate Farm since 2015. They are an inspirational local organisation, fully committed to providing work skills and fulfilling career opportunities for people with learning disabilities and autism. I was delighted to learn that Little Gate Farm has now launched the new Supported Apprenticeships Scheme. I am fully supportive of this inclusive scheme and I would encourage local employers to get involved in the scheme to discover how these enthusiastic and hard-working apprentices can be a real asset to their organisation.”

Little Gate Farm is a registered charity based in Beckley. It provides work training and supported employment to help adults with learning disabilities and autism into paid work. This in turn brings financial benefits and increase in self-esteem, physical and mental health. The work training programme offers opportunities to gain new skills and confidence. Work experience is gained at the farm, caring for animals and working on the charity’s horticulture project.

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