training-apprenticeHTP Training, southern England’s top apprenticeship provider has announced today that it is partnering with the dynamic, Southampton based, children’s charity, U Support to further an ambitious project based in the Marlands shopping centre.  U Support has recently acquired the tenancy for a premises and café in the Marlands centre which is being turned into a traditional tea rooms called ‘ChariTeas’.  The tea rooms will be used to generate an income stream for the charity as well as giving local young people the opportunity to start a career in hospitality and progress through an apprenticeship delivered by HTP Training.


Recruited in four cohorts by HTP Training, the apprentices will be provided with four weeks of pre-employment training before progressing on to their Hospitality Guild Apprenticeship; the gold standard for apprenticeships in the sector.


Rachael Fidler, Founder & Managing Director, of Isle of Wight based HTP Training commented: “This is exactly the type of project we love to be involved with.  Apprenticeships are incredibly effective in helping to turn young lives around.  By providing these young people with work skills, confidence and pride they will be better equipped to look after themselves and they may secure a level of independence that they might not otherwise achieve.  U Support is a great charity to be working with – a big idea with a heart of gold”


The U Support charity was founded by Adam and Tracey Gregory in 2003 to provide the opportunity for children and young people with life limiting conditions, disability and disadvantages to experience life enhancing events.  U Support is committed to provide as many experiences, in as many locations, and with as many diverse organisations, clubs and venues as possible from football matches to fishing events and pop concerts to cultural visits. With over 4,000 experiences a year now being provided, U Support is on course to become one of the biggest providers of sporting, cultural and leisure experiences in the UK for these deserving children.


Adam Gregory, co-founder of U Support said, “We are delighted to be able to bring this opportunity to fruition. U Support is like all charities in the UK finding that the funds required to deliver core charitable objectives are becoming more and more difficult to source, as everyone feels the effects of the economic climate. U Support has always tried to be innovative and unique in its approach and we sincerely hope that ChariTeas will not only provide a fantastic way for every person locally to become involved in supporting a local home-grown charity, but that it will provide employment opportunities for local youngsters as well.


“Having left school myself with few qualifications, I know how the apprenticeship model provided a great start for me. If through the work of ChariTeas we can set even one youngster on a new pathway of hope in employment and provide more opportunities for local youngsters who may be disabled, disadvantaged, deprived or diagnosed with life limiting illnesses to enjoy sporting, music, leisure and theatre events, then we as a charity are really contributing to the local community of which we are so proud.”


Youngsters taking part in the tea room initiative are well placed for future employment as 95% of all apprentices who complete their HTP apprenticeship stay in work. HTP Training achieved ‘Outstanding, Grade 1’ status from Ofsted in 2008 and is now one of the 12 best training providers in the UK. The number of students who complete their apprenticeships at HTP Training has also increased year on year and today stands at an impressive 87%, which is 10% above the national average.