Young people around South Yorkshire can learn about horticulture or cycle mechanics alongside their GCSEs.
The scheme boosts grades for young people who might want to go into more practical employment, need practical skills in their chosen academic career or simply want to learn about how to live more sustainably.
Cycle mechanic training can be provided on-site, or can take place at a dedicated cycle mechanics classroom in Brampton Bierlow. The horticulture course also makes use of a dedicated site with poly tunnels and bespoke classroom.
The courses are City & Guilds accredited and normally take only a day per week for a year. Horticulture at Level 1 (0065-11) takes two years to gain the full Diploma grade.
As well as equipping pupils with qualifications, the initiative also gives schools a hand in hitting their outputs. A diploma grade in horticulture (065-11), for example, is equivalent to an A at GCSE level. To some schools, this can make the difference between a school underachieving and hitting its targets.
The scheme so far has hit schools throughout Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley, including Kirk Balk, The Dearne High, Barnsley Academy, The Armthorpe School, Wath Comprehensive and many more throughout the region.
Groundwork South Yorkshire has been working with some of these schools for over ten years
There are 68 young people currently undertaking this year’s programme, with 33 due to complete the course and 25 continuing next year.
Of the 33 who have completed this year’s course, 10 are cycle mechanics and 23 horticulturalists. 18 have also gained a functional skill qualification in mathematics.