Proud to launch ‘Skills 4 Life’ for St John Cymru

Pep talk

St John Cymru Wales has launched a new initiative, aimed at getting young Welsh people into work, through learning first aid.

Skills 4 Life is a two-year project which will see the first aid charity help address the skills and employability issues faced by many under 25s in Wales.

Through the programme, the charity aims to turn traditional volunteering experiences into work-related qualifications.

Over the next two years, St John Wales is pledging to train 2,400 11- to 25-year-olds in first aid – with a number of those going on to gain a BTEC, NVQ or other qualification.

The charity is also pledging to offer overseas volunteering placements to eight young people not currently in employment, education or training (NEETs).

The initiative was launched by adventurer Tori James, the first Welsh woman to climb Everest. 15 St John Wales youth volunteers joined Tori for a 7.5 km hike from Castell Coch to Caerphilly Mountain to kick off the scheme.

Damian Thomas, St John Wales’ director of youth said, “We believe first aid knowledge is the ultimate life skill in every sense. Not only can it save lives, but it also benefits those looking to develop personally and gain recognised, employment relevant transferrable skills and experience.

“Unemployment in Wales is at extremely high levels with 22% of 16-24-year-olds currently not in employment, education or training.


“Through the Skills 4 Life project we have committed to training more than 2,000 young people in first aid over the next two years, while offering a number of qualifications, overseas placements and other training to young people who are not in education or employment. These skills will not only help them, but will assist us in our aim to have a first aider on every street in Wales.”

Launching the initiative, Tori James said, “I am extremely passionate about inspiring young people and encouraging them to gain skills that will help them progress in their lives.

“Training young people in first aid will not only enable them to save a life, but it will give them confidence and purpose, qualities that are often overlooked when people have been out of work for some time. I am a strong believer that outdoor activities have a huge role to play in building confidence and skills, which is also something St John Wales have looked to include in their Skills 4 Life scheme.”

The Skills 4 Life project has also been supported by ex Welsh rugby union internationals Johnathan Davies, Martyn Williams and Rob Jones, Welsh rugby league player Keith Mason, boxing trainer Enzo Calzaghe and broadcaster Roy Noble.

To find out more about the Skills 4 Life project, or to become a youth volunteer with St John Wales go to