Fears for future of motorcycle course

A MOTORCYCLE mechanics programme which aims to divert young people away from lives of crime and into employment and training is today struggling to recruit enough participants.

A MOTORCYCLE mechanics programme which aims to divert young people away from lives of crime and into employment and training is today struggling to recruit enough participants.

The course, which is run by crime reduction charity Nacro, offers teenagers a chance to take part in a free 12 session programme teaching motorcycle mechanics to City and Guilds standards.

Participants are then encouraged to go on to further study or gain employment.

But Nacro's Nik Soar said more people were needed to take part in the scheme.

“When I see some of the lads and what they've been through in their life and where they've come from to see them go on and go into further study or City and Guilds it's just fantastic,” he said.

“There's so many more people we can help and we can't get them.”

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Usually participants are referred through organisations like the county's Youth Justice Team or agencies like Connexions and the Job Centre but Mr Soar said with extra places available people could choose to take part themselves.

“They can walk straight through the door and refer themselves,” he said.

About 100 young people have taken part since the course was launched in October 2006.

Funding for the course came from the European Social Fund and the Learning and Skills Council to provide young people aged between 16 and 19 in Suffolk with a chance to learn motorcycle mechanics while gaining a City and Guilds accreditation.

It is aimed at young people who are not in education, employment or training.

As well as learning the nuts and bolts of looking after a motorcycle, they are taken on a mock Compulsory Basic Training session, learn safety tips from highways police and take part in a track riding day.

Anyone interested in taking part in the programme should call Nik Soar on 01473 729230.

Has a course like this helped you turn your life around? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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