Mark Adair

Employability programme proves just the job in Newcastle

Over 100 people came together at St James’ Park this week to celebrate the early success of a pioneering North East employability programme.

Graduates of the New Start programme joined staff from the housing associations and partner organisations behind the project to celebrate the news that 73people have secured employment through the initiative.

New Start is a paid placement programme, which provides career starter roles for people aged 25 and over. Building on the success of existing employment schemes, the programme offers five month opportunities of up to 30 hours per week, with no prior experience requirements.

It is a partnership between housing providers in the North of Tyne region, Your Homes Newcastle, Karbon Homes, North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, Changing Lives and Bernicia, with roles open to residents living in their households.

Your Homes Newcastle also offers a range of other employability programmes such as training to help residents find permanent employment, CV writing, apprenticeship and work opportunities, interview preparation and help searching for jobs.

Helen Neal, Assistant Director of Supported Services at Your Homes Newcastle, said: “We are delighted to have worked collaboratively with housing providers and partner organisations across the North of Tyne to deliver this pioneering programme.”

The New Start programme is backed by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, with Mayor Jamie Driscoll describing it as a collaborative approach that helps more people and more employers become part of the region’s recovery from Covid-19.

The programme has gained the support from a number of North East businesses, offering a range of placements from a Day Centre Cook and Jam Maker at Belle and Herbs Farm in Central Newcastle, to a Learning Support Worker at Northern Learning Trust, Digital Inclusions Assistants at Your Homes Newcastle, and Play Workers at Calmer Therapy in Morpeth.

Suzanne Jobson, Foundations for Life Manager at Karbon Homes, added, “the Impact of the New Start programme has been phenomenal. We are thrilled that it has helped so many local people, including Karbon Homes’ customers, to find new opportunities and take those important next steps on their career journey.

The programme has been funded by the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund, an initiative designed to support local areas to pilot new approaches and programmes which help tackle local challenges.

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