Helm are delighted to be leading the “Aspire and Achieve” partnership project which has been approved as part of the Tay Cities Deal. Together with partners from education, business, young people’s initiatives and public services, this project will transform the way that disadvantaged young people in Tayside get into college and sustain their place.

Going to college for Tayside’s young citizens means opening the doors to apprenticeships in a huge range of sectors, jobs in growth sectors with good in-work progression, and the opportunity to progress in further or higher education. At the moment a shockingly low percentage of young people living in disadvantaged areas in Tayside are able to make use of this opportunity however, especially when they have been unable to thrive in mainstream education. It is also known that a worryingly high number of young people from disadvantaged areas are unable to sustain their college place, even if they do manage to get a place. If together we can turn this around for Tayside, not only will we be supporting all young people to lead stable and productive adult lives, but we will also be addressing a key social inequality, resulting in a fair Tayside with real opportunities for all.

All partners in Aspire and Achieve will work together to create clear and sustainable pathways into and through college for all. This will include innovative ways to raise aspirations, address barriers, work with families, improve selection methods, widen course choice and flexibility, and strengthen mentoring and pastoral support.

All work will be approached on a test and learn basis, and evaluated carefully from the outset by Dundee University’s Community Learning Development research team. At the end of the project it is therefore expected we will also have created a “how-to” toolkit to transform college access for all – meaning Tayside will then be leading the way in re-engaging young people in education, using fresh and effective ways to address entrenched social inequality throughout Scotland.

The 5 year project is being delivered in partnership with Dundee and Angus College, Tokheim, Dundee University, Police Scotland, Developing the Young Workforce, Dundee schools, and the Future Skills College, and will be rolled out regionally with all colleges once the pilot phase is completed. More partners are welcome, and anyone interested in making connections should contact Helm’s Chief executive, Helen Sykes.

Work is also ongoing to find the right match funding partners to support key complementary areas of mentoring, parent and family outreach, and mental health access and support. Interested individuals, trusts and foundations are welcome to contact Helm’s Chief Executive, Helen Sykes for more information.

Contact for more information : Helen.sykes@helmtraining.co.uk or ring to discuss on 01382 224464