North East housing providers boost employability

Housing providers from the North East have launched a new employability programme to help build skills and aid the region’s economic recovery.
From left to right, Michelle Fortune, CRF Project Lead at Karbon Homes, Helen Stevenson, Employment Advisor at Karbon Homes, Stuart Clarke, Senior Employability Manager at Your Homes Newcastle and Kelly Mclachlan, CRF Project Lead at Your Homes Newcastle

Housing providers from the North East have launched a new employability programme to help build skills and aid the region’s economic recovery.

‘New Start’, a programme funded by the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund, provides a range of paid, work placements for residents aged 25 and over, living in the North of Tyne region. The programme is a partnership between Karbon Homes, Your Homes Newcastle, North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, Changing Lives and Bernicia.

It has been backed by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, with North of Tyne 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. Suzanne Jobson, foundations for life manager at Karbon Homes said: “The New Start programme is designed to give residents over 25, across the region, access to new opportunities which provide real-time work experience, with a real wage and qualifications.

“Many employment programmes support younger audiences, meaning the older you are the harder it can be to get past the first hurdles of starting a new role, but with New Start, whether it’s a first job or a chance to change direction, applicants are given the chance to take those important next steps on their career path.”

The partnership of housing providers received £716,612 from the UK Community Renewal Fund, an initiative designed to support local areas to pilot new approaches and programmes which help tackle local challenges.

‘New Start’ is one of three project workstreams the funding will cover. The project also includes a Foundational Economy study in a number of North of Tyne communities, aimed at identifying the barriers to employability in those areas, and a feasibility study, to explore the idea of a shared placement model of employment for North East SMEs.

Helen Neal, assistant director, supported services at Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), said: “YHN is already acting as a Kickstart Gateway organisation and supporting both job seekers under 25 and local employers to find perfect candidates for work placements, so we’re thrilled to be extending this support to those over 25 now too.

“Despite the employment challenges linked to the pandemic, YHN has had a very successful time recently in terms of helping customers into work, and we look forward to repeating this by working with our partners through the New Start programme.”

Image: From left to right, Michelle Fortune, CRF Project Lead at Karbon Homes, Helen Stevenson, Employment Advisor at Karbon Homes, Stuart Clarke, Senior Employability Manager at Your Homes Newcastle and Kelly Mclachlan, CRF Project Lead at Your Homes Newcastle

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