Climbing courses helping young people to scale the job ladder

Ryan Dack with Open's climbing instructor Dan Jeffrey

Ryan Dack with Open's climbing instructor Dan Jeffrey - Credit: Archant

A climbing course at Norwich's Open venue has been helping young people to get a foot on the job ladder.

Respect4us has been enrolling young people onto Open's foundation climbing course, which is particularly targeted at Year 11s and aims to improve their employability skills.

Young people are taught how to climb at the Bank Plain venue, but also to develop their social interaction skills, solve difficult problems, build trust and learn to work as a team.

One success story has been Ryan Dack, who gained a work placement at Bramley Lakes in Horsford where he shadows and assists their groundsman, Austyn Childerhouse.

Ryan, from Sculthorpe, said: 'I never really got on at school but I found out through Open's climbing course that I'm really great at practical hands-on work.

'Thanks to the work of Respect4Us I've been successful in getting a work placement with Bramley Lakes, and this work placement has helped me focus on what I want to do in life. As a result I have now also been offered a place at Easton College.'

Dan Jeffrey, Open's climbing instructor, said: 'It's really great to be able to make a difference to the lives of young people and to see them go on to gain work experience.'

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Liz Easton from Respect4us said: 'We are looking for companies that wish to take on apprentices or trainees.

'For some young people college is a perfect next step, others need to work in their chosen path alongside a college course. Ryan is a perfect example of how when companies help young people with work places they find the area they are comfortable in.

'It is so difficult being a youngster and having to make choices about your future. For some it helps hugely if they can try out different jobs. Once they have decided on a career path they work with so much more drive and focus.

'When it comes to moving on our young people may not have the formal qualifications others have but they do have an excellent knowledge of what is expected in the workplace. Any issues are corrected along the way so by the time they are available for an apprentice or traineeship they already understand what employers expect.'

James Salter, general manager from Bramley Lakes, said: 'We have supported Respect4us for over six years and are proud to have given opportunities to Austyn and Ryan.

'With our help they have been able to develop their practical and interpersonal skills, and Austyn is now a key member of our staff and Ryan is gaining valuable experience under Austyn's tutorage that will go a long way towards his future aspirations.'