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Business & Economy

Funding secured to boost employment potential in the region

A group of North of Tyne housing providers have successfully secured funding to deliver an innovative employability project to help unlock potential in the region.

A group of North of Tyne housing providers have successfully secured funding to deliver an innovative employability project to help unlock potential in the region.

The partnership, made up of local providers Karbon Homes, Your Homes Newcastle, Northumberland County Council, Bernicia, North Tyneside Council and Changing Lives, 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 the UK.

The eight-month project, which will incorporate new ways of thinking and build on the success of existing employment schemes, is set to kick off from December and consists of three workstreams:

  • A Foundational Economy study in North Shields, Blyth and Byker, aimed at identifying the barriers to employability in those communities
  • A new employability programme called ‘New Start’, providing paid work placements for over 25s building on the successful government Kickstart scheme aimed at 16-24 year olds.
  • A feasibility study, to explore the idea of a shared placement model of employment for North East SMEs

Charlotte Carpenter, Executive Director of Growth and Business Development at Karbon Homes, said: “We’re delighted to have been successful in our funding bid for the UK Community Renewal Fund.

“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 term will help us monitor the impact of our interventions.”

The UK Community Renewal Fund is designed to support local areas to pilot new approaches and programmes which help tackle local challenges.

The fund plays a significant role in the Government’s levelling up agenda, which hopes to see investment in areas across the UK to help every place reach its full potential.

Stuart Clarke, Senior Employability Manager at Your Homes Newcastle, added: “We’re very excited to be delivering on this project and helping to further contribute to the economic recovery of the region.

 “Through our involvement in the Kickstart programme, we’ve already seen at first hand the impact that a job placement scheme can have. New Start not only gives us the platform to offer these fantastic opportunities to more people but it also allows us to work with more employers and help support their business needs.”

 The project has been backed by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, which put the project forward for consideration and is supporting with aspects of its delivery. It is one of two which has received UK Community Renewal Funding in the North of Tyne area and one of eight in the wider North East.

 Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “The New Start Scheme means more people and more employers will be part of the region’s recovery from Covid-19.  It’s a collaborative approach that brings together the right people and the right organisations.

“This scheme will give people a helping hand into jobs.  Increasing job prospects changes people’s lives and that’s what I want.  I want everyone to be able to see their own potential.

“When we work together, we can be winners. This is what the North of Tyne devolution deal was all about – improving life for our people.”