Young jobseekers are getting a chance to sail ahead in a new career thanks to a scheme being launched on Portland.
The Chesil Trust, a charity that enables disadvantaged and disabled young people to participate in water sports, has teamed up with the Official Test Centre to provide 15 unemployed 18 to 24-year-olds with the opportunity to learn how to windsurf and potentially train as an instructor.
The scheme is supported by Synergy Housing sponsorship and training input is from the Royal Yachting Association, in conjunction with a Department of Work and Pensions grant.
Angela Gould from Synergy Housing said: “The pilot scheme back in 2013 was a tremendous success so we’re absolutely delighted to be lending our support to this newly-expanded project.
“Tackling unemployment issues and helping young people living locally to gain the skills they need to find work is one of our top priorities. This is a really exciting opportunity to achieve a nationally-recognised windsurfing qualification and take first steps in what will hopefully be long and successful careers.”
The project is the latest development in the scheme following a successful pilot undertaken in 2013, when three unemployed 18-24-year-olds were trained as fully-qualified sailing instructors.
All three pilot scheme participants are now employed as sailing instructors in Dorset, Devon and even Australia.
Chairman of the Chesil Trust, John Tweed, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding from the DWP and Synergy Housing for the project.
“We know from our experience of funding last year’s sailing instructors’ programme that the participants couldn’t wait to get to the sessions, and the outcome in gaining employment has changed their lives.”
Tris Best, managing director of the OTC said: “The lucky five progressing on to stage two will be fully immersed into life as a windsurfing instructor, setting them up for life-changing opportunities to travel the world, meet like-minded people and experience new cultures. It is an enjoyable, vibrant industry full of opportunities.”
The selection morning for the 15 places on the scheme takes place next Thursday, June 19.
Any applicants from Dorset or Hampshire wishing to attend should contact Laura Dennis on 01305 328150.