THE hard work and dedication of local young people was recognised by the Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Brian Jones, recently as he presented them with certificates from Darlington’s Learning & Skills team.

Clearing litter in the community, making strong personal progress, good attendance and completion of work experience were amongst the certificates presented to the young learners who are all aged between 16 and 19. As well as presenting the awards, the Mayor spent time with the young learners answering any questions they had about his role.

The young people attend a range of courses through Learning & Skills provided by Darlington Borough Council. They are studying towards improving their maths, English and vocational skills as well as attending work placements as part of their Study Programme.

Vocational qualifications include Customer Service (Level 1 and 2), Motor Vehicle (Level 2), Joinery (Level 2), Health and Social Care (Level 2) and SETPD (Skills for Employment, Training and Personal Development, Level 1 and 2).

Work experience varies from course to course but all learners have the chance of a placement in their area of interest. The course is designed to give learners the skills and confidence to plan their next moves towards applying for further education, apprenticeships or employment.

Learners attend Learning & Skills for the academic year, from September to July.  Whilst academic results are considered important, the approach is one that will equip young people with the life skills they need to progress down their chosen route.

The Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Brian Jones, said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the young people and having the chance to share in their celebration of achievements. Many received more than one certificate, showing how well they are progressing in more than one area. It was great to spend some time after the presentation giving them the chance to ask me more about my role as a councillor and Mayor.

“They are a credit to themselves and to the Learning & Skills team, well done to all.”

For details of what the Learning & Skills team can offer contact 01325 405601, text on 07932 869325 or l&s@darlington.gov.uk