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LifeSkills covered in the Rotherham Advertiser On Line Paper

Rotherham Advertiser - 24th February 2011 by Phil Turner

Rotherham entrepreneur giving new hope to young jobless

JOBLESS teenagers are being given a leg-up into work by a Rotherham training centre.

With hundreds of 16- to 24-year-olds unemployed, entrepreneur Spencer Fearn, of LifeSkills, is hoping to help offer many of them a future.

After setting up in a small East London office in 2002, LifeSkills is now one of the country’s leading learning providers.

Four months after opening their state-of-the-art training centre in Spencer’s home town of Rotherham last October, he and business partner Andrew Wright are working with over 100 previously unemployed 16- to 18-year-olds.

Their apprenticeship in business administration courses provide skills and qualifications in IT, customer relations and teamwork, preparing youngsters for work in a wide range of businesses.

So far, 32 youngsters have secured employment and employment opportunities are available for a further 40 apprentices whom Lifeskills will recruit over the coming months.

Another 80 youngsters are currently on Foundation Learning or Get Ready for Work courses.

Foundation Learning provides training in specific areas whilst Get Ready for Work gives youngsters a taste of a variety of jobs, enabling them to make an informed decision about further training or entry into work.

Spencer said that LifeSkills offered much more than skills and qualifications for youngsters, adding: “One of the most important things young people pick up is confidence.”

As well as working with local businesses to provide employment opportunities, Spencer is a director of Rotherham Titans and education partner of Rotherham United Football Club.

LifeSkills also provide courses in conjunction with Rotherham Titans Community Foundation, Rotherham United, IGEN and Full Circle.

Spencer added: “Such partnerships allow LifeSkills to offer training in an even wider range of industries, such as sport and construction.

“LifeSkills recognises that school is not for everyone and even work with Year 11 pupils from local schools to provide practical training and advice.

“We’re committed to giving all young people the skills, qualifications and experience they need to find the job that's right for them.

“That's good for local youngsters and great for local industry, too.”

For more information on the courses LifeSkills provide phone 0800 622 6873 or visit

“I never knew there were so many career options in beauty. When I finish the course I want to get a full-time job in a salon but get involved in shows and competitions and stuff too.”