Training and Enterprise, Page 3 - Kibble, A Lasting Legacy. Residential, secure, education, fostering, social enterprise, training for young people and youths.



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Skills Training and Social Enterprise

Later twentieth Century

The skills training aspects of Kibble endured, although the nature of this evolved. By the middle of the century, shoemaking and tailoring had been abandoned and during the 1960s and 1970s trades training was the main focus: bricklaying, joinery and plumbing. From 1984 an Electrical Instructor was also in place.

Joinery at Skillzone, a current training scheme for young people at Kibble

Joinery at Skillzone

Joinery at Skillzone, a current training scheme for young people at Kibble

Around this time a shift in wider policy meant that the emphasis changed away from skills training towards more academic education, in an attempt to align Approved Schools with mainstream schools. This was partly due to perceptions that boys in Approved Schools may have been disadvantaged by not being offered the same educational opportunities as in the mainstream schools:

‘Because things were heavily…work orientated, and then it started getting gradually less like that and they started taking on more academic teachers - Modern Studies, History, and the Art was wee bit of an add-on.’

(Boyd McNicol, Art Teacher at Kibble, 1979-1999, interviewed 23/05/2005 by Elaine Harris)

Towards the Future

Some former staff have expressed the belief that measures to expand academic education at Kibble in the 1980s and 1990s were at the expense of some very valuable skills training. However, lessons have been learned from the past and Kibble, whilst offering a full mainstream educational curriculum, has in recent years expanded provision for vocational training and work experience, particularly with respect to its range of small social enterprises at KibbleWorks:

‘When I first started here and it was the trade training, and I used to go on about the benefits that the young folk got from that hands-on work experience. And that was thrown out as old-fashioned and “it’s all about Standard Grades now”. And the school had a huge sea-shift towards written qualifications. And now we’ve taken a step back, and everything that’s happening in KibbleWorks, again, as I said before it’s not new; we’ve done it all before, it’s just that we chose to walk away from that and leave it. And we did ourselves a great disservice there and I’m glad to see there’s some kind of resurgence in this hands-on work experience… And I think that’s…is it Tom Farmer and Tom Hunter are both putting grants down for young folk to go and do their Skills for Work. It’s a huge big ‘buzz’ now; we did it years ago – ahead of the times once again.’

(David Speirs, Electrical Instructor at Kibble from 1984 and Principal Teacher of Science and Technology until 2008, interviewed 08/02/2007 by Elaine Harris)

All the enterprise coordinators from KibbleWorks.

All the enterprise co–ordinators from KibbleWorks.

There are currently 15 enterprises operating under the KibbleWorks banner, ranging from Joinery, Tiling and Car Maintenance to Music Composition.

David also highlights the innovative nature of Kibble: ‘ahead of the times once again’. The organisation continues to innovate, developing an integrated array of specialised services to meet the ever-changing and diverse needs of the young people who come here.

With regard to skills and vocational training, the KibbleWorks enterprise and employment hub offers a spectrum of training and employment opportunities for young people who have been in care or are preparing to leave care. KibbleWorks enterprises comprise a range of business settings: motor mechanics, catering, internet radio production, picture framing, gardening, metalwork, joinery, original music composition, design and production of promotional items, warehouse skills, and office administration. These provide school leavers with opportunities to gain vocational qualifications and experience of real work environments, as well as developing time management, team working and communication skills.

Using a traditional pre-apprenticeship model to support a young person who has a range of social, emotional, behavioural and educational difficulties, KibbleWorks staff must demonstrate leadership skills whilst acting as role models and providing structured boundaries.

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