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09 July 2014

Wednesday 9 July

On 8 July 2014 Haynes Publishing Group, and partners London Youth, Prospex Youth Club and Draper Tools, unveiled the first ever qualified Haynes MechaniX.

The intensive Haynes MechaniX programme was created to build the practical and life skills of a group of 15-25 year olds from London Borough of Islington through a hands on, challenging course, and increase their employability by providing them with a recognised City & Guilds qualification that they might not otherwise have access to or did not believe they had the ability to attain.  Encouraging the Haynes DIY spirit, the overall aim of the pilot was CAREERS – confidence, achievement, responsibility, education, employability, recognition and a sense of success. 

 After two months being taught car mechanics using a Haynes Manual, expert tuition from qualified mentors, and armed with Draper Tools, the finished, roadworthy car – Percy the Polo – complete with recently passed MOT was revealed for the first time.  This was his warm up event before he is given a further moment in the limelight at the upcoming VW Festival in Folkestone at end July.

Following such interest and positive feedback from all those involved in Haynes MechaniX, Prospex is now considering other vehicle maintenance programmes at the club and several of the participants are considering a future career in mechanics. Speaking about the project Lucy, a participant, commented: 

I’m hoping I can carry this on for a long, long time because it is something I enjoy. I’m keen to now learn how to fix other parts of a car.”

Haynes Publishing and London Youth are also discussing extending the programme into other clubs within London Youth’s network, whether in the same format or possibly as another concept, such as pedal bike maintenance.

Speaking about the programme, J Haynes, Chairman of Haynes Publishing Group, commented:

“Watching the unwavering enthusiasm of the young members as they learnt new skills and started to believe more in their abilities has been incredibly rewarding. I understand that several of the participants are now looking into building on this qualification, whether through returning to college or through vocational courses, and I hope this will give them the confidence and foundations to find lasting careers that they enjoy in the future.”

Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of London Youth said:

It’s truly inspiring to see such strong enthusiasm and commitment from young people participating in the Haynes MechaniX pilot project. They’ve not only engaged with the programme fully and turned up on time to scheduled sessions, but have continued working on Percy the Polo during project breaks and even after the pilot was “officially” over.

This just shows that when given the opportunity and right levels of support, young people can really flourish and show what an asset they can be. We hope this opportunity can be extended to others in the future, and are looking forward to working with Haynes Publishing and partners to make this possible.”

Richard (Beef) Frankland, Youth Services Manager, Prospex added:  

“The Haynes MechaniX project has been my favourite project that I have ever been involved in over the past 30 years of my youth work experience.  It has been one of the best resourced, it has engaged all the young people on so many levels and they can really see the results of their work. 

The fact that it has led to them gaining a qualification and some real career progression routes has been the cherry on the cake.  We are so grateful to have been involved and are looking forward to a new challenge on another car soon.”