White Gold


White Gold Cornwall said Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency’s role was ‘vital’ in helping them bring teenager Natasha Martyn into their youth engagement team.

The community interest company, which helps vulnerable young people to navigate life’s early challenges, needed to expand its provision of one-to-one mentoring. Its team works with animals such as alpacas, llamas and ponies to help individuals overcome personal problems in an outdoor therapeutic setting.

Natasha, 19, demonstrated her ability to connect with often-disaffected young people while on work experience for the company at Chy Lowen Alpacas Tregaswith’s (CHAT) farm near Newquay.  So White Gold Cornwall asked the CAA’s specialist advisors to help create a training programme that would enable them to take her on as an apprentice.

Mark Pascoe, operations manager at White Gold, added: “The Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency’s model of apprenticeship provision fitted in really well for all concerned. Without the financial and payroll support scheme we couldn’t have done it.”

The CAA provided a financial support package which meant Natasha was on its payroll, reducing the risk to White Gold Cornwall in expanding its team. It also created a training programme in Health & Social Care which is enabling Natasha to enhance her skills and add even further value to the company during her apprenticeship.

Mark Pascoe added: “Natasha’s communications skills when working with young people are excellent. It’s about being able to empathise with young people and having the life experiences. The Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency’s role was vital to ensure all the pieces of the jigsaw fitted together and enable her to join our team.”

Natasha, from St Columb Major, is now based at CHAT farm where she is thriving in her new role. She said: “It’s great to combine being around animals with doing something so worthwhile.”