Apprenticeships - a great step onto the career ladder
 

With many young people coming out of university with debts of almost £30,000, apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly attractive option instead of college or higher education. There are no tuition fees and they allow young people to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst also earning a wage.


With many young people coming out of university with debts of almost £30,000, apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly attractive option instead of college or higher education. There are no tuition fees and they allow young people to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst also earning a wage.

Apprenticeships are available to anybody over the age of 16, not in full time education. There is something to suit everybody as they cover a range of qualification levels and more than 170 industries and 1,500 job roles, ranging from digital marketing and electronic engineering, to childcare and sports coaching.

Apprenticeships last between one and four years with apprentices working a minimum of 30 hours per week. The training is delivered by professional training providers who meet regularly with the young person to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need for their area of work. This is complemented by the employer who provides the apprentice with mentoring and support as well as practical experience that will boost their CV.

Earn while you learn
One of the excellent benefits for young people doing an apprenticeship is that they are paid by the employer, get at least 20 days of paid holiday and gain first hand experience of what it’s like to be in the workplace. The minimum wage for an apprentice between 16-18 and those aged 19 or over in their first year is £2.68 an hour, although employers often pay more than this with the average weekly net pay for an apprentice being £170.

The experience of working with an employer means apprentices can gain the transferable skills that employers are looking for when they recruit, such as communication, flexibility, time management and team work.

Research has shown that 86% of apprentices stay in employment after their initial apprenticeship finishes. Examples of those who have experienced fantastic apprenticeship success include John Frieda, who started out as a hair salon apprentice and Jamie Oliver who began his career as a culinary apprentice.

To find out more about the benefits of apprenticeships and to browse the wide range of opportunities available, please visit http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ and the Apprenticeships in Surrey page on the Surrey County Council website.


An apprenticeship success story
Ryan, a young man taken on as a Cinema Assistant apprentice by the Ambassadors Cinema in Woking is a fantastic example of the success apprenticeships can bring. He achieved an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Customer Service alongside his apprenticeship and, since then has been taken on as a permanent employee with additional responsibilities in the projection department.

Dominic Foster, Deputy General Manager of the Ambassadors Cinema Woking, highlighted that Ryan is a key member of staff and that his success has encouraged them to take on more apprentices "Towards the beginning of this year, mindful of the fact that Ryan was due to complete his apprenticeship and had done so well, I actually took on a further two apprentices in the cinema, both of whom are doing fantastically!" Not only have they recruited for cinema apprentices but they have also extended this to their maintenance department with another apprentice studying towards an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in General Maintenance Operations.

1,000s of opportunities under one roof for young people
 

The Surrey Opportunities Fair returns to Epsom Down’s Race Course on Tuesday 14 October between 9.30am and 7pm. 


The Surrey Opportunities Fair returns to Epsom Down’s Race Course on Tuesday 14 October between 9.30am and 7pm. 

Colleges, training providers, careers advisors and employers will be on hand to give young people advice on what choices are open to them, whether that's applying for further education, an apprenticeship, vocational training or starting out in their chosen career.

There are thousands of opportunities available to young people in Surrey and the fair aims to ensure that each young person is well informed to take their next steps.

The free event will be open to the public from 4pm to 7pm and visitors will be in with a chance of winning an iPad.

For details visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/opportunitiesfair

October deadline for secondary school applications
 

The deadline for secondary school applications in Surrey (starting aged 11 years) is Friday 31 October 2014, but as this is in half term the School Admissions team suggest you submit your application by Friday 24 October 2014. Go to Secondary School Admissions for full details on the process.


Think: Is A&E where you really need to be?
 
It’s easy to think that your local Accident and Emergency (A&E) department is the best and perhaps the only place to go for medical advice. However, did you know that you could get faster and more appropriate help from the wide range of other local health services available across Surrey?

It’s easy to think that your local Accident and Emergency (A&E) department is the best and perhaps the only place to go for medical advice. However, did you know that you could get faster and more appropriate help from the wide range of other local health services available across Surrey, such as:    
                                                                     

  • Pharmacies
  • NHS Walk-in Centres – see Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) websites below or NHS Choices
  • NHS 111
  • Your local GP – see CCG websites below


“As a parent myself, I know that it’s natural to worry about your child’s health” explains Dr Charlotte Canniff, GP and Clinical Lead for Children and Young People at NHS North West Surrey CCG. “Children and young people often struggle to tell their parents exactly what’s wrong, and it’s easy to assume that a simple medical problem is something far more serious. If you’re concerned that your child is unwell, my advice would be to think first. Is A&E where you really need to be?”

Parents across Surrey have access to a wide range of NHS services that can offer urgent medical advice and support. The best way of finding the most appropriate local healthcare service for you is by calling NHS 111, a free telephone service available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service is staffed by a team of trained advisers supported by experienced nurses and paramedics who can assess your situation and put you in touch with the best service to meet your needs. This could be your local pharmacist, local out-of-hours GP service or NHS Walk-in Centre, all of which have fully trained healthcare professionals on hand to provide you with advice and support.

“Of course,” continues Dr Canniff, “If your child is losing consciousness, has a rash that doesn’t fade when you press a clear glass against it or is having difficulty breathing, you should call an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E department immediately. If you’re unsure, NHS 111 will be able to help.”

NHS 111 manages appointments for the GP out-of-hours service in Surrey, which offers emergency GP appointments between 6.30pm and 8am Monday - Friday, and 24 hours on weekends and bank holidays. 


Local Clinical Commissioning Group websites: 

North West Surrey CCG

East Surrey CCG

Guildford and Waverley CCG

Surrey Downs CCG

Surrey Heath CCG  

North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG 

 

Safe Drive Stay Alive
Help keep your teenager safe on the roads
 

Safe Drive Stay Alive returns to Dorking Halls in November. This live production aims to make young people aware of their responsibilities as drivers and passengers and the possible consequences should these not be taken seriously.


Deaths on the road are the single biggest killer of young people in the UK. 1 in 5 young drivers (age 17 - 24) will be involved in a road traffic collision within 12 months of passing their test.

Safe Drive Stay Alive returns to Dorking Halls in November. The live production aims to make young people aware of their responsibilities as drivers and passengers and the possible consequences should these not be taken seriously.

The production combines recorded films and live on stage testimonies from those directly affected, professionally and personally, by road traffic collision deaths or serious injuries. Since April 2005 over 92,000 Surrey teenagers have experienced this live production. So far this year, 15,000 places have been booked by Surrey schools and colleges for their students to go to one of the 19 performances scheduled for this November.

If you would like to book places for the evening performance at 7.30pm on Wednesday 12 November - please phone 01737 242444.

To find out more about Safe Drive Stay Alive and for contact details visit www.safedrivesurrey.org

We also have spaces still available for performances taking place throughout November, so please check to see if your child's school or college has booked.

Local Assistance Scheme
Helping families in greatest need
 

The Local Assistance Scheme (LAS) provides emergency assistance for Surrey residents in a crisis or those needing help to set up or keep their home in the community. It’s open to all residents as long as they meet a few conditions.


The Local Assistance Scheme (LAS) provides emergency assistance for Surrey residents in a crisis or those needing help to set up or keep their home in the community.

It’s open to all residents as long as they meet the following conditions:

  • They are aged over 16.
  • They live in Surrey (or have an intention to reside in Surrey).
  • They are either on a means tested benefit or unable to access sufficient funds.

It provides financial support to those who are unable to meet their own needs or the needs of their dependants on Visa payment cards. It can assist those who need help to set up a home in the community by providing household items.

To use the scheme visit one of the 16 participating Citizen’s Advice Bureaux (CABs)** in Surrey. You will get all the support you need from highly skilled advisors. The scheme can also be accessed with the support of a professional or voluntary agency.

The LAS can consider requests to:

  • feed a family
  • provide emergency clothing
  • provide emergency transport
  • provide essential household items.

The LAS will consider any request; but it will not be able to help pay debts, bills, arrears or housing related costs.

The LAS expects to help people from the following groups experiencing a crisis or emergency:

  • low income families
  • those escaping domestic abuse
  • those with substance or alcohol misuse problems, which mean they are homeless
  • those with long term illnesses
  • those leaving institutions such as care homes or prisons.

The LAS will consider applications from anyone and access is not restricted to the above list.

Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and decisions are made at the time of application. Those applying will be provided with advice and practical support to reduce their need for crisis support in the future.


Samantha's story
Samantha* visited the CAB when her partner left the family home and took everything. Samantha was left with five young children and no access to her money. It was going to take 3-4 weeks for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to make a payment to help her feed her children and keep the house warm and with light. Her cupboards, fridge and freezer were empty and the gas and electricity meter was about to run out – Samantha and her young family were isolated with no friends or family to help.

Sadly the situation Samantha found herself in happens often in Surrey. Fortunately for Samantha, after a short telephone application whilst she was at the CAB, the Local Assistance Scheme was able to provide her with enough money to feed the family. Over the next few weeks, the CAB helped her to re-instate the payments she needed to feed her children and manage on her own.

* We have changed Samantha’s name to protect her identity.


Matthew's story
Matthew and his wife Christine attended the CAB when their fridge-freezer broke down and they lost £180 of food for them and their four children. Matthew is a full time carer for his wife who is terminally ill. The family are struggling with debt repayments that have increased since Christine’s illness has worsened. They had no money to replace the food in the fridge-freezer, and the prospect of buying a new fridge-freezer was clouded by fear of adding to the increasing debt. The Local Assistance Scheme was able to provide money on a prepaid card for the family to buy the essential food they needed and they were also provided with a replacement fridge-freezer within 48 hours of making the application.

For more information and ways to apply go to: www.surreycc.gov.uk/localassistancescheme

See the Citizen’s Advice Surrey website for contact details, ** participating CABs are listed below,:

  • Ash
  • Banstead
  • Camberley
  • Cranleigh
  • Dorking
  • Esher
  • Farnham
  • Godalming
  • Guildford
  • Haslemere
  • Horley
  • Leatherhead
  • Oxted
  • Redhill
  • Runnymede
  • Walton
Proposed first university technical college in Surrey
 

Surrey County Council is working with partners and employers to explore the potential for a university technical college (UTC) in Surrey for 14-19 year olds, specialising in engineering and digital technologies. The proposed UTC in Guildford will be the first of its kind in Surrey offering an exciting alternative to secondary school provision – more opportunities for young people across the whole county.




Surrey County Council is working with partners and employers to explore the potential for a university technical college (UTC) in Surrey for 14-19 year olds, specialising in engineering and digital technologies. The proposed UTC in Guildford will be the first of its kind in Surrey offering an exciting alternative to secondary school provision with more opportunities for young people across the whole county.

If the bid, submitted to the Department for Education in October 2014, is successful, Surrey County Council would be looking to open the UTC September 2017.

 

Click here if you want to know more about the proposed UTC and to keep up to date. And if you have any questions, email utc@surreycc.gov.uk

Useful link:

Proposed first university technical college in Surrey
A Loan Shark is not just for Christmas!
 
It may only be the start of autumn but there is never a bad time to start planning and putting some money aside for Christmas. As ever, the Illegal Money Lending team urges you to avoid borrowing from a Loan Shark if you’re struggling this December.

It may only be the start of autumn but there is never a bad time to start planning and putting some money aside for Christmas. As ever, the Illegal Money Lending team urges you to avoid borrowing from a Loan Shark if you’re struggling this December. The Trading Standards project warns that Loan Sharks can be incredibly expensive (try 131,000% APR) and a frightening experience. 

Loan sharks often seem friendly at first and will give an easy cash loan, often with no forms or paperwork. They might operate in your local neighbourhood, in a pub, gym or even where you work, making it easy for you to get the money – but then just as easy for them to start to harass you. If you know of a local Loan Shark, or need help, please contact the team on 0300 555 2222, you can also email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk or follow the team on twitter @loansharknews

Please don’t use a Loan Shark this Christmas – you might still be paying them back next Christmas.

If you need help, search under debt on the Surrey Family Information Directory for local debt advice and support.

Other helpful links:

 

Read on. Get on
Let's get every child in the UK reading well

Ten Minutes a Day Could Change Everything.

Read On. Get On is a national campaign to get all our children reading well by the age of 11 and everyone can do something to help.


Read On. Get On is a national campaign to get all our children reading well by the age of 11

At the moment far too many kids are leaving primary school without this key skill - including 40% of all our poorest children. The Read On. Get On mission is to change this for good so that by 2025 all our children will start secondary school as confident readers.

Everyone can do something - just 10 minutes reading a day with a child makes a huge difference and helps them fall in love with reading. It will take everyone, parents, grandparents, business, volunteers, teachers, celebrities and politicians, to crack this problem once and for all.


Will you play your part?

See our video:

Ten Minutes a Day Could Change Everything.

Ten minute read - Sign up to get some top tips to get your children reading, reading for just 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference to children's reading skills.

Tell politicians to act - Sign the Read on. Get on petition asking all the party leaders to commit to making sure that every child leaves primary school reading well by 2025.

Volunteer to read - Sign up to volunteer and help poorer families in your local community improve their reading, their confidence and prospects.

What is the role of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) in school?
 

Every school has a SENCO who works with other teachers and parents to make sure the needs of children with special educational needs or a disability (SEND) are met by the school. A SENCO will become involved with you and your child if your child’s progress isn’t as expected once extra support from a teacher has been given.


Every school has a SENCO who works with other teachers and parents to make sure the needs of children with special educational needs or a disability (SEND) are met by the school. A SENCO will become involved with you and your child if your child’s progress isn’t as expected once extra support from a teacher has been given.

The SENCO makes sure:

  • you (as a parent or carer) are kept informed about your child’s special educational needs
  • your child has clearly targeted support which is regularly reviewed and monitored
  • information about your child’s needs and your child’s records is kept up to date.

The SENCO also supports staff and other professionals working with your child and liaises with external agencies that may be involved with your child, including Surrey County Council’s specialist teaching teams, educational psychology services, autism outreach, health and social services and voluntary bodies.

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 describes the importance of the role of the SENCO in all school settings and states that their responsibilities may include:


Mainstream primary schools

  • overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  • co-ordinating provision for children with SEN
  • liaising with and advising fellow teachers
  • managing learning support assistants
  • overseeing the records of all children with SEN
  • liaising with parents of children with SEN
  • contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • liaising with external agencies including Surrey’s support and educational psychology services, health and social services, and voluntary bodies

Mainstream secondary schools

  • overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  • liaising with and advising fellow teachers
  • managing the SEN team of teachers and learning support assistants
  • coordinating provision for pupils with SEN
  • overseeing the records on all pupils with SEN
  • liaising with parents of pupils with SEN
  • contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • liaising with external agencies including surrey’s support and educational psychology services, health and social services and voluntary bodies.

Useful links:


Search for support groups and services on the Surrey Family Information Directory

If you have any concerns about your child, please contact you school's SENCO.

New online home for CAMHS
 

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) website has moved to a new home and has a new look and feel.


The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) website has moved to a new home and has a new look and feel.

After consultation with parents, children, young people and professionals the existing CAMHS website has been transferred to www.healthysurrey.org.uk 

Old favourites are still there, including Feeling Good Week and pages with mental health information and advice for professionals, parents, carers, children and young people. And you'll also now be able to find information on related subjects such as alcohol, drugs, healthy eating and other health topics.

The increased visibility for mental health issues on a popular site such as Healthy Surrey may help to reduce stigma associated with mental health and people will see that CAMHS is part of the wider ‘health and wellbeing’ agenda and not a separate stand-alone issue.

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