Work training scheme proves to pack a punch

A group of young unemployed people are being helped into work through a motivational course using boxing training techniques.

Former British and Commonwealth boxing champion Glenn McCrory and Les Welsh, a former England boxing coach, worked with the eight people on a new type of employment skills course.

The week-long programme included learning boxing training techniques with Glenn and Les at the Empire boxing gym in Blyth.

The group also visited Linden Golf Resort and Spa to understand what employers need and see how the skills they gain can be used in the workplace.

The Northumberland County Council Employability and Skills service wanted to find new ways of motivating young people. Glenn and Les used training and motivational techniques from boxing to help the young people believe in themselves.

On the course the young people were also given an insight into setting up a business by Business Northumberland.

Glenn designed the course to use the skills and attributes developed in his boxing career to motivate young jobseekers.

He said: “Boxing has changed so many lives, mine included, giving me fundamental principles of life to follow. We improve young people’s determination, confidence, self - discipline, and motivation; the qualities they need to get into work”.

Chris Austin, from Ashington, took part in the course and has already found work at the Burberry factory at Blyth.

He said: “When I entered the first day of the programme I felt very low and down and felt like a personal failure. Each day I felt better about myself.”

“By the end of the week I left the programme feeling more confident than I had ever felt and I was motivated to find a job.

“I’m really happy about my job start at Burberry this month. I wouldn’t have achieved this without the support of Glenn and Les and the staff at Northumberland County Council’s Work Programme team.

“I have also kept in touch with other people attending the programme who are all making positive steps to find work.”

Coun Grant Davey, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “I congratulate the young people for participating in the course so enthusiastically.

“This is a different way of motivating young people and it has proved to be a real success.

“Glenn and Les are two of the most inspirational people I have ever met.”