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Feature: ELV's offer training opportunity

Abandoned cars in Liverpool are being used to provide young, unemployed people with a brighter future.

Set up in February 2000, Motor Waste is a local community organisation with charitable status that provides training opportunities in motor vehicle recycling to unemployed people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Based in Toxteth, the scheme was devised by Wilfred Hugo, Motor Waste’s project development manager, who was concerned by the increasing number of young people hanging around the streets and joyriding in stolen or abandoned cars.

“Not only can we help people move into the workforce but we are taking vehicles off the streets, which helps to reduce crime in the community,” says Hugo. “The project has been very well received in the area
and we have had excellent testimonials from our
students.”

Funded with money from the European Union and UK charities, Motor Waste has a very clear objective:
“To advance the education of young people and
unemployed adults, who are disadvantaged, excluded or economically and socially isolated in Merseyside, particularly 18-24 year olds from black and ethnic minority communities.”

Courses on offer include motor mechanics work placement programmes, where training takes place for 13 weeks and provides credits towards an NVQ, and a vehicle depollution course for an NVQ Level 2. Motor Waste is certainly seeing results from its students.

“Last year the programme had 65 candidates and over 40% went into employment as a result,” says Hugo. “The training can help youngsters move away from crime and empowers them to go into work.”

Individuals are able to apply to Motor Waste directly or, if they have been unemployed for six months are referred by the job centre. The scheme is also part of
the Government’s Intermediate Labour Market
programme.

Of last year’s 65 candidates, 15 received training in general motor mechanics, of whom 10 benefited from additional language support from an English language support tutor at Liverpool Community College. Thirty five students enrolled onto the Environmental Task Force Scheme and underwent work placement training. Of these, 44% gained employment and 85% successfully completed their training plan and achieved City and Guilds 3901 qualification units.

In addition, 15 students attended Basic English ESOL classes and 10 beneficiaries received driving lessons from a local driving school.

The Motor Vehicle Depollution course was launched last September and the modules include: basic health and safety, basic motor mechanics and methods to deconstruct a vehicle, such as making the airbags safe, placing the vehicle on a depollution rig, removing batteries, hazardous material, glass and recyclable parts.

As a social enterprise Motor Waste has taken a holistic approach of training young adults and improving the community that it is sending them back to. Run
by six full time members of staff and one volunteer, the organisation is taking end of life vehicles that would otherwise have been a blight on the landscape and
using them as the tools for a range of practical, vocational courses.

“Before the scheme started there were a lot of dumped cars in the area, which were a danger to people,” says Hugo. N

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