New regional employability programme launches
A new employability programme has launched in the North East to help build skills and aid the region’s economic recovery.
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, New Start offers five month opportunities of up to 30 hours per week, with no prior experience requirements.
The programme is a partnership between housing providers in the North of Tyne region, Karbon Homes, Your Homes Newcastle, North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, Changing Lives and Bernicia, with roles open to residents living in their households.
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.
“Similar programmes tend to 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 first steps on their career path.”
The 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.
Helen Neal, Assistant Director Supported Services at Your Homes Newcastle, 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. We have a number of our own vacancies, from admin to construction and manufacturing roles, and are also supporting customers who would like to work for other employers.
“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.”
The programme is 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
It is one element of a wider, 5-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 and register your interest in any of the roles, please visit www.karbonhomes.co.uk/newstart