A PROMINENT education professional has described a Go-Karting and leisure venue as “unique” for its approach to helping young people into the jobs market. Sir David Bell, former Chief Inspector of Schools in England and Wales, made the comments after being given a tour of The Experience in Hillington Park, Renfrewshire this week.
The Experience is owned and operated as a social enterprise by Paisley charity Kibble. It offers comprehensive training to local young people in all aspects of the hospitality industry. Sir David and his wife Lady Louise made the visit after accepting an invite from his brother, Kibble Chief Executive Graham Bell.
Having started his career as a primary school teacher in Glasgow, Sir David became Chief Inspector of Schools at OFSTED in 2002 and Permanent Secretary to the Department of Education in 2006. He left the civil service in 2012 to become the Vice Chancellor of The University of Reading.
Sir David said:
“It has been fantastic to see first-hand the work that Kibble has been doing to help those furthest from the jobs market. My career has seen me work at school level, local government level and national level but the scale and multi-faceted approach to training youngsters makes The Experience unique.
“Whether it is the go-karting, conference facilities or the impressive Academy Restaurant, the opportunities for gaining experience and skills in hospitality are second to none. The huge advantage of having a social enterprise model is that all the profits are reinvested into improving the business.”
As well as offering supported training opportunities to those with barriers to employment, the Kibble Group is perhaps better known for its residential school and care accommodation. Founded in 1859, Kibble has gained a reputation for using innovative techniques to help youngsters facing the most distressing circumstances.
Sir David Bell added:
“Learning more about the positive impact that Kibble has on kids is particularly pleasing. I get the impression that where some public agencies admit they cannot help, no matter what the circumstances Kibble does not take no for an answer. That sends a powerful message to the young people.
“It is evident that Kibble believes that every child is entitled to the same chance to succeed. Education and social care provide opportunity where it would otherwise not be available.”
Eileen Cummings Executive Director of Young Workforce Development at Kibble said:
“It was fantastic to welcome Sir David and Lady Louise to The Experience. I know that David has had a long and distinguished career in education so it is very welcome to have his seal of approval.
“The Experience will continue to offer valuable training and skills to young people across Renfrewshire and the West of Scotland that prepares them for their future careers.”