In 1987, the Foundation started a programme which is now known as the Youth Apprenticeship Programme (YAP). Over the yeas, the essence of this programme was to grow, develop and train a highly skilled work force, with the principles of informal and community education at the heart of each workers’ placements. Each worker would work towards an honours degree, run by the YMCA George Williams College, accredited by Canterbury Christchurch University. Over the years we have funded many workers who have achieved great things through this programme, including a number of people achieving excellent degree results who would have never thought they would study to that level.
Our YAP graduates have covered the whole of the UK, and we are currently supporting those who are working toward their degrees.
The YAP programme was set up to recognise and support those who had the potential to become significant leaders and educators within a local charity. The YAP programme provided an opportunity for the individual to engage directly in active youth and children’s work environments, between a 4-5 years period. The student would develop the ‘pebble in the pond’ ethos of the Foundation within their own local communities.
The ethos behind the programme was to engage the imagination of children, young people and the community with powerful, positive and active alternatives to some of the attractive but negative cultural influences and temptations. Most of the YAP students over the years have worked in cutting edge, difficult and challenging environments through a range of communities within the UK.
Although the Foundation is not taking any more YAP applications, we will be supporting a number of existing students who are undertaking the programme, for the next 4 years.