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Work experience

Fire and police youth course participants secure William Cook roles

A South Yorkshire teen has started an apprenticeship with a major Sheffield manufacturing firm, thanks to a fire and police led youth course.

Jay Woodhead, aged 17, from Wybourn, Sheffield started work at William Cook Cast Products after completing Princes Trust Team Programme- a 12 week development course that’s jointly run by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police.

Jay will be employed in the moulding section and will travel to Birmingham once a month to fulfil his training obligations.

Jay said: “If it wasn’t for the Team Programme I would still be sat in my bedroom wondering why no-one was offering me a job. This has focussed my job search and the impact has been proven by the number of positive responses I have received since. I am really looking forward to starting my new apprenticeship and would like to thank everyone for the help getting here.”

He’s the second course participant to have secured employment at William Cook, after Joe Rodgers earned a role as an apprentice pattern maker. He’d previously spent a fortnight on work experience at the firm- walking an hour and a half to get to work each day.

Joe, aged 22, from Parson Cross, Sheffield, had been long term unemployed. He said: “Team Programme really helped me improve myself for the better. It improved my prospects and gave me a clear path to a job that I am loving. I never saw myself in this role and instead thought I would work in retail. My time on work experience really opened my eyes to the jobs available. I would like to thank John, Andy and all the team at The Prince’s Trust and Kevan at William Cook for the opportunity of work experience that led to this role.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police teamed up with the Prince’s Trust to deliver the Team Programme three years ago. During that time more than 200 young people have benefited from the 12 week personal development course for unemployed 16 – 25 year olds, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.

The courses are based at fire stations and are the only programmes of their type in the country to be jointly delivered by fire and police services. For more information or to sign-up, email

This content was last updated on August 28th, 2019