A BRIDLINGTON businessman is hoping to give something back to the community by helping local youngsters into a trade.
Andy Slater, of Smartworx in High Green, near Bridlington Priory, is hoping to set up a programme for disadvantaged local teenagers to learn new skills at his garage, which offers auto refinishing, custom paint jobs, body work and car repairs.
Andy, 43, who is originally from Bridlington and moved back to the area in May after working in Teesside, said he hopes to set up a workshop at his garage which will help “underprivileged youths who have nothing else to do”.
“I want to see if I can get them interested in the work and hopefully that will give them the skills and that bit of encouragement you need to go and get a professional qualification or an apprenticeship,” said Andy.
“A lot of kids don’t have that many opportunities. I have worked in the trade for a long time and and I know that there are no young apprentices coming through.”
Andy’s wife Amanda works as a teacher and NVQ assessor, and will help with setting a curriculum and a test at the end which will help teenagers learn the new skills.
Before moving back to Bridlington, Andy worked in Teesside for Mercedes Benz but was made redundant, an event which prompted his return to the town.
“It was a big shock for me to be out of work. I know that there aren’t that many opportunities around for jobs and young people are just being left high and dry.
“My 12-year-old Benjamin is really interested in cars and my 14-year-old daughter is also hoping to go into mechanics as well. Hopefully doing something like this will help others as well.”
Andy has already approached East Riding College, and has promised to paint a Mini Cooper car students at the college have been working on this year.
He is now hoping to take the next step in setting the workshop up, and would welcome any help from people in the town who may be able to make the idea a reality.
Andy can be contacted on 07759 664171.