Partnership to boost employability in South Ribble

Preston’s College has teamed up with South Ribble Borough Council to improve the employability of young people in the local area.

PC SRBC Image 1The further education provider has developed a bespoke project-based learning programme that will enable eighteen school leavers from the Borough to pursue a career in fitness and leisure.

The courses, which begin in September 2015, combine on-site training and academic teaching to help gain nationally recognised qualifications in Activity Leadership, Leisure Operations and Gym Instructor.

The full-time curriculum includes two days learning at South Ribble Tennis & Fitness Centre and three days commercial experience at Leyland, Bamber Bridge and Penwortham Leisure Centre, which will include roles such as centre maintenance, coaching and leadership and front of house.

Councillor Phil Smith, South Ribble Borough Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “The leisure industry in South Ribble is experiencing significant growth and continues to create demand for appropriately trained staff."

Peter Dodd, chairman of South Ribble Community Leisure, who oversees the running of the leisure centres in the area, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Preston’s College in this exciting partnership. We have some fantastic leisure facilities in the area to accommodate the community, and this programme will give the young learners more exposure and experience of the world of work for when they finish their course, which is fantastic.”

David Smith, head of school for sport, exercise and public services at Preston’s College, said: “This unique programme will deliver teaching in a real sport and leisure facility to help learners develop a far broader skill set than solely classroom-based learning. “Students will also work on live projects set by South Ribble Borough Council, which challenges them to think outside the box, and we look forward to working in partnership with the local authority."