Thanks to funding from the UK Community Renewal Fund, a group of North of Tyne housing providers have created an innovative employability project to help unlock potential in the region as part of the UK Government’s levelling up agenda.

The partnership, made up of local providers Karbon Homes, Your Homes NewcastleNorthumberland County CouncilNorth Tyneside CouncilChanging Lives and Bernicia, has received £716,612 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, an initiative which aims to support people and communities most in need across theUK 

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

You can find out more about the UK Community Renewal Fund here.

About the project

The eight-month project aims to incorporate new ways of thinking and build on the success of existing employment schemes. It aims to shape the future of the region’s labour market and further contribute to its economic recovery.

It consists of three parts:


1. A Foundational Economy Study

The aim of the study is to identify barriers to employability in three North of Tyne communities: North Shields, Blyth and Byker. 

This research will: 

  1. Inform which government policies and interventions we should be seeking to influence in order to support employability
  2. Inform potential interventions/solutions to tackle barriers to employment in housing providers' own future work

New Start

2. An Innovative Employability Programme

New Start provides paid work experience for over 25s. The programme will aim to enable customers to achieve their career aspirations and build skills, experience and qualifications

New Start gives us the platform to offer a wide range of fantastic opportunities to people in the region and allows us to work with more employers and help support their business needs.

The placements are career progression ‘Start Up’ roles, giving candidates the chance to get their foot in the door.

The roles offer real life work experience, with a real wage and the qualifications to take their career path forwards.

Find out more about New Start here.

3. A Feasibility Study

We will explore the idea of a shared placement model of employment for North East small and medium sized enterprises.

  • It will identify examples of barriers and challenges facing employers and potential candidates
  • Outline clear pathways for Housing Providers to broker relationships between employers and customers
  • Produce a recommended working model, a fully costed project implementation plan and a clear strategy for obtaining funding to implement the project.

By combining the knowledge and experiences of multiple housing providers in the region we have created a unique concept which will take great strides in building our understanding of the labour market barriers in the North East, which in turn will help us monitor the impact of our interventions.

We’re very excited to be delivering on this project and helping to further contribute to the economic recovery of the region. 

We will be sharing our progress in the project throughout 2022 so please visit page for future updates in the new year.