They offer a six to seven month course for about sixty young people. Students have the chance to learn different media subjects such as singing, drama and video production. Each student can achieve bite size accreditation for each subject – often their first qualification. Once they have the students’ attention with the ‘fun stuff’ Interchange use the opportunity to teach life skills such as sexual health, research skills and interview techniques.
Some young people arrive with no qualifications at all. This is due to reasons such as; poor support from schools or parents, no fixed address, literacy issues and/or dyslexia. These young people have slipped through the net and/or have applied a range of avoidance strategies to get by.
As a result of this the William Wates Memorial Trust paid for someone to provide literacy support on a part-time basis during the course. This invaluable training can make such a difference to how these young people live their lives – from simple things like reading application forms to being able to count their change in a shop.