Tuesday, 19 July 2011

North Leicestershire ITEC

I am deviating from my usual themes because a remarkable event is currently happened in my life and I must refer to it. For ten years, after I left the army, I was involved in an organisation called North Leicestershire Information Technology Centre. It was in effect a youth training scheme run by Leicestershire County Council.

I was actually referred to this local ITEC by the Job Centre because of my instructional experience in the army and it was the luckiest day of my life. The manager at that time was looking for a stooge because he had no interest in the trainees and only wanted to use the centre for his commercial ambitions.

Consequently he delegated the recruitment of trainees to this scheme to the one person who wanted the job.  Me! Now I had the power to recruit the people who would enhance the scheme and benefit from the community that I wanted to develop. So I encouraged, pushed and plotted to design a scheme which would enhance the development of young people who were not getting the support from mainstream education.

You must remember that in the early nineteen eighties/nineties the schools did not have  computers. We had 90 networked computers which the lads and lasses could experiment on. Every year I recruited people who for whatever reason had not impressed mainstream education. Generally they were guys and gals who needed some encouragement and advice.

They came in their droves! In the interview season I was faced by wonderful, eager, young people who wanted a chance... I was also faced with insecure youngsters who needed additional support. In those days in our ITEC they were not singled out. They were part of the community.

I will cut to the chase. I left these people in 1997 by which time I was by default the Manager of the scheme.  In 2011 an ex trainee (Kev) decided to form a Facebrook group of ex ITEC trainees. I never thought that the environment that I created would survive all these years. Today I am receiving messages from so many successful young people that I can hardly believe it! Not just successful young people but happy, well adjusted young people; people who contribute to society. I am so proud of the ITEC legacy.

The fact that so many ex trainees want to relive their teen years is testimony to my policy and to the efforts of people like Paula, Becky, Colin and .....Dipak! Your memories live on people.

I will now pass away really happy that so many people feel connected to the training model I designed. Am I out of order to suggest that the ITEC model should be brought into schools and colleges?  I know it is the right model and that is why the educationalists and the politicians will reject it. None of my boys and gals went to university we just cared for them... and I really cared for them!!

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