Exeter HITZ team looking for new students

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By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs HITZ officer Gareth Williams says spaces for inclusion in the 2021/22 programme is ‘filling up fast’ after recruitment opened for the new year.

Having reached their 40-strong target for the current season, Williams is confident the new HITZ programme will achieve similar success.

HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme which works with over 2,000 14-18 year-olds across England every year.

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Exeter Chiefs HITZ officer Gareth Williams

HITZ uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to get young people not in education, training or employment (NEET) back into education, training, apprenticeships and/or employment, and is delivered nationally by England’s 12 professional rugby clubs.

The HITZ Learning Academy offers a relaxed environment targeted at 16-18 year-olds to improve their functional maths and English, develop valuable life skills and gain important qualifications alongside experience from work placements and employer-led sessions.

Based out of a safe, secure and socially-distanced base at Topsham Rugby Club, the Exeter HITZ team are working hard to tailor day-to-day activities to the needs of the students, as well as introducing contributions from the local community, which have helped to the success of the programme which has been rated ‘outstanding’ on its last two evaluations.

Williams said: “We have been delighted with the success of the HITZ programme, particularly this past 12 months where everyone has had to deal with a great deal of upheaval in their lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“What we have been able to offer, however, is a programme that is not only fun and enjoyable for all of our students, but also addresses serious educational needs and helps put them in a position where they can look to move into future employment.

“We have recently started our recruitment for the next year, which starts in September, and the uptake has already been very encouraging. What we are saying to those who are considering being part of the HITZ programme here in Exeter is get in touch with us and we will talk you through everything you need to know.”

For further information on the Exeter HITZ programme, contact Gareth Williams on 07803846191 or email him at garethwilliams@exeterchiefs.co.uk.

Alternatively, course tutor Lewis Griffths from education provider SCL can be contacted on 07565859075 or email lewis.griffiths@wearescl.co.uk

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