Youth Employment Initiative
Your career starts here!
Are you aged 16 to 29, unemployed or not in education? We can help you!
Our expert advisors in the Youth Employment Team (YEI) offer:
- Funded training for qualifications;
- Work placements;
- Funding for works equipment for job roles;
- Travel costs;
- Careers advice;
- Support setting up your business;
- Interview and CV skills;
- Progress to further education;
- Help getting an apprenticeship.
Catherine Platts laughs as she remembers meeting her YEI advisor and discussing what she wanted to do with her life.
“I wasn't very clear, I'm afraid," says Catherine, a 19-year-old from Eston, who spent some of her first wages on treating her mum to a meal out, “I just knew I wanted very badly to start work. I didn't want to go university, I'm a keen worker.
“My YEI advisor, Lorraine, sat me down and went through my A Levels and asked a few questions. I love art and have an A Level in fine art and she helped me apply for an apprenticeship at Sign Art in Redcar. I just needed an Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) qualification and some help applying and I got a place here. I couldn't be happier."
Her employer, Harry Guy explained Sign Art was a family business which has recently returned to Redcar from Stokesley. He said: “We do struggle to find people with the right skills and we want to employ young people from our own area so an apprentice was the way forward for us. The team at the Council helped us find a great candidate with the qualification we need."
Jordan Richardson-Wall, 21, has thanked the YEI team – and his gran – for helping him secure his first job.
Now Jordan, a kitchen assistant at Redcar's supported housing complex The Dunes, is saving up to take to his girlfriend to Disneyland.
He explained that he struggled to find work after gaining a qualification in hospitality at Middlesbrough College.
He said he lives with his grandmother, Val Richardson, and was worried about finances. Eventually his gran encouraged him to get in touch with the YEI team.
Advisor Stephanie Myers said: “Jordan was great to work with. He had bags of motivation and the right qualifications and he just needed a bit of work on his CV.
“After that he quite quickly started getting interviews and was a question of practising possible interview questions. We were all delighted when he got taken on at the café at The Dunes."
Jordan, whose Asperger's means he can struggle in some social interaction situations, said he was nervous on his first day. “My gran came with me the first day and that was a big help," said Jordan, “but after that I've just cracked on. It is great working here and I love talking to all the residents.
“We're saving up as a family to go to Disneyland which is great and I'm going to pay for Abigayle, my girlfriend. I was looking for work for about 18 months and I've been here for about eight months now and it's going well."
Michelle Breckon, Support Co-ordinator at the Activity and Well-being Service at The Dunes, said: “Jordan is doing fantastically well. We couldn't have asked for more and we're grateful to the YEI team helping get him to us."
Some of the Youth Employment Initiative's biggest success stories have been for people in their mid-to-late 20s.
Jay Welford was 28 and had worked for many years as a clean and green operative but was struggling to get regular employment.
“I just needed some more qualifications to help get me over the line," says Jay, originally of Guisborough and now living in Redcar. “Craig, my advisor at YEI, helped get me training in pesticides, chainsaw and cross cutting licence, complete health and safety training and my level 3 as a first aider. It's worked really well. I'm now at the Thirteen Group housing association as an Estates Manager and it's going really well."
The Youth Employment Initiative is a Tees Valley-wide scheme and part of the Tees Valley Pathways Programme designed to help young people into employment or education. It is part funded by the European Social Fund.