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BE NICE SOCIALFunded by West Suffolk Council, the One Step Closer programme has been created to identify and support any individuals in West Suffolk who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) with the view that the scheme will help progress them towards their career goals.

It's business as usual for our One Step Closer team after they successfully placed the college’s first live Digital Marketing apprentice with Clare-based company Suffolk Latch before Easter.

Funded by West Suffolk Council, the One Step Closer programme has been created to identify and support any individuals in West Suffolk who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) with the view that the scheme will help progress them towards their career goals.

At an uncertain time for many youngsters trying to determine their next steps, Talent Coach Hayley Smyth worked remotely with the student to build their CV and interview skills. Despite the challenges of being coached and then interviewing remotely, the student had a virtual interview and was offered the position immediately.

The student said: “Thank you very much for helping me get my apprenticeship! The advice you gave me with my CV was extremely helpful, and the time you spent preparing me before my interview was very much appreciated. Talking me through each step and possibly questions that could occur in the interview was invaluable. Thank you so much!”

Laraine Moody, Vice principal for Employer Engagement said: “This has been some really positive news in what has been a challenging time for everyone. It shows what can be achieved even in the current climate we are in. I am extremely proud of the One Step Closer team and our apprenticeships team for continuing to support young people across the region and at an anxious time for so many.

Laraine Continued: Our thanks also go to Suffolk Latch for working so brilliantly with us on this and recognising that recruitment can still continue effectively and it is still essential for these businesses to take on apprentices in order to drive their business forwards.”

Suffolk Latch said: “Here at Suffolk Latch Company, we have just completed the process of hiring a new apprentice through West Suffolk College. The recent COVID-19 lockdown meant that we had to alter our usual procedures and carry out interviews remotely. Thankfully, with options such as Zoom, Facetime etc (we chose Facetime), interviews have been easy to arrange. We made the decision to bring our new apprentice on board immediately, as it is important to us that we secure the right person for the role.

West Suffolk College have been able to support us with this, and there will be on-line inductions and on-line training sessions to ensure that we can work around the current situation. We will also be able to set up regular online meetings so that the new apprentice can meet the rest of the team. Rather an unorthodox way of starting a new apprenticeship, but it will mean that when normal office hours resume, we are all ahead of the curve and the business can move forwards without further delays.”

Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council said: “This is fantastic news. One Step Closer is a programme commissioned by the Council and developed by West Suffolk College to empower young people toward the start of their careers and to help local business find the staff they need for their future success. It also shows the wonderful work that the talent coaches are doing at the college. I would like to congratulate the apprentice on their new role, and Suffolk Latch, and wish them both all the very best for the future.”

If you know someone who is 16 years old and wants to seek advice on employment, education or training please contact the One Step Closer team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..