North East unemployed offered new start

A partnership of North East housing providers is tackling unemployment rates head on through a new employability programme.
New Start Onboarding Event - credit Barry Pells Photography

A partnership of North East housing providers is tackling unemployment rates head on, having supported 66 local job seekers into career starter roles through a new employability programme.

New Start, a paid placement programme for people aged 25 and over, is working with local employers to offer job seekers five-month opportunities, opening doors for candidates who were previously struggling to find work. The programme is a partnership between housing providers in the North of Tyne region, Karbon Homes, Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, Changing Lives and Bernicia, and roles were open to customers living in their homes.

The programme aims to establish a new employment framework which enables more people to achieve their career aspirations. With no prior experience needed and ongoing support from an employment advisor, the programme has enabled applicants to explore roles within a wide range of industries, including engineering, hospitality, construction, law and teaching.

Anna, 37 from Newcastle, had been out of work for almost two and a half years after being made redundant during the pandemic. She was nervous about applying and interviewing for jobs but the New Start Recruitment Team were able to help give her the confidence and support she needed: “I had support throughout the entire process, including doing a mock interview which took a lot of the pressure off,” she said. “The recruitment process was really fast which made it less intimidating. I applied for the job and was invited for an interview within days. I then got a phone call the day after the interview to say I had been successful so there was no waiting around which was really good.”

Alex, a Karbon Homes residents, has faced a lot of challenges in work due to having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). New Start enabled him to get a role working as a Retail Worker at video game lounge Ctrl: Pad, where his active personality has been embraced. He said: “I’ve been really encouraged by the management team. The energy I give off really helps the customers feel more welcome. It’s overwhelming. I’ve finally got somewhere I’m happy to work in.”

The New Start programme is funded by the UK Government’s Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) through the UK Community Renewal Fund with the North of Tyne Combined Authority as the lead authority.

It is one element of a wider, five-month employability project delivered by the providers, which also includes a Foundational Economy study in North Shields, Blyth and Byker, aimed at identifying the barriers to employability in those communities, and a feasibility study, to explore the idea of a shared placement model of employment for North East SMEs.

To find out more about New Start, visit www.karbonhomes.co.uk/newstart

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