Telford College has begun running The Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award to offer invaluable skills and life-changing experiences to young people.

The college - a Shropshire Chamber patron - has worked closely with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to create an opportunity for students which is designed to boost the employability and ‘workplace readiness’ of everyone who takes part.

Janet Stephens, Telford College’s deputy chief executive, said: “The DofE is a fantastic opportunity which encourages young people to find new interests, gain self-confidence and develop a real sense of purpose.

“Not only does it give them the chance to take part in some fantastic adventures, it equips them with the skills they need to present themselves more confidently to prospective employers.”

Around 15 Telford College students will be taking part in the first intake, working initially towards their Silver Award, but the intention is to expand the DofE Award offering significantly over the coming years. 

DofE operations officer, Ramela Mills, attended a Telford College open event to explain the benefits of signing up.

She said: “We’re delighted to welcome Telford College on board with us and have developed a DofE offer for students which will provide opportunities for all young people – not just those in mainstream education.

“This is a bespoke programme which has been tailored to specifically deliver experiences for students in the 16-plus age bracket. It’s about removing barriers which may previously have prevented people from taking part.”

The DofE is working to reach one million young people by 2026 and has launched ambitious projects to fund schools and community organisations in the UK’s most deprived areas to start running the DofE, support more young people with additional needs and disabilities to achieve their Awards, and expand in prisons and young offender institutions. 

To do their DofE, young people aged 14-24 choose activities in four sections: improving a Physical and Skills activity, Volunteering for a cause of their choice, and completing a demanding Expedition.

Along the way they have fun, grow in resilience and self-belief, discover new talents and passions, and learn practical skills to help them in future – while working towards a highly respected Award. 

Pictured above are: Janet Stephens, left, with Ramela Mills