Young people in Kent are set to benefit from a careers programme designed to help them build new skills and support them into employment.

Sanctuary Supported Living residents across the east of the county are participating in the course as part of developer Sanctuary Homes’ MORE programme, which supports local need and aspiration in places where it builds new homes.

Under the MORE programme, the supported housing provider is providing opportunities for residents to take part in the Kick-Start course run by construction firm ENGIE.

The project is aimed at 16 to 25 year olds in Canterbury, Swale and Thanet who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including children in care and care leavers.

Residents from Sanctuary Supported Living’s Old Johnson House and Bridge House schemes in Canterbury were introduced to the programme at Sanctuary Homes’ Cooks Lane site, in Sittingbourne, where it is building 242 new properties.

They learned about different roles within the construction industry, routes into career paths such as apprenticeships, and will be given the opportunity to sign up for work experience placements.

Residents who complete the Kick-start course will then take part in three days of mentoring when they get guidance on CV writing and interview techniques.

Colleen Eccles, Sanctuary’s Head of Place Shaping, said: “The idea to link young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including children in care and care leavers, with careers related to housing and construction was initiated through Sanctuary’s MORE programme.

“This is just the start of a national programme through MORE that will see even more residents benefit.”

Fiona Lovelock, Sanctuary Supported Living’s Service Development Manager, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to find out more about potential careers and improve their employability skills, which are vital for them in their journey towards living independently.”

Lorraine McMullen, Community Engagement Manager from ENGIE, added: “The Kick-start programme has a proven track record of helping people into employment and we are looking forward to working with the young people from Sanctuary Supported Living.”

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