A BUSINESS support organisation has helped dozens of young people Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs) to find secure employment and apprenticeships with regional firms.
East Durham Business Service runs an apprenticeship programme to get more 16-19-year-olds in the area out of the benefits system and into work.
And in that time over 60 young people have been taken on intensive and longer term placements with over 80 per cent entering full-time employment or being awarded apprenticeships with local businesses.
Simon Naisbett, East Durham Business Service’s apprenticeship consultant, said: “The young people who come to see me genuinely want to work but aren’t sure how to find the best opportunities for them, or lack the confidence that the majority of employers are looking for.
“Many of them have been on other training courses that really haven’t helped them so I devote time to get to know them, what interests them and their strengths and weaknesses so I can tailor my support in a way which is engaging and will make a real difference to them.”
Simon delivers two main apprenticeship courses. One is an intensive six-week programme funded by the European Social Fund and delivered in partnership with Gateshead Council, while the second is a referral based initiative.
One of the NEETs who is working with Simon is 18-year-old Jordan Scott from Easington. He came to East Durham Business Service after trying a number of other training programmes which he felt weren’t for him. He said: “Simon is making a real difference to me as he genuinely wants to help. I really want to get a job as a kitchen and bathroom fitter and I know when I complete this course I’ll have a better chance of doing that.”
Bobby Grieves, 19 , from Murton wants to be a painter and decorator and is working with Simon to develop the skills he needs to get a foot on the career ladder. He added: “I have already passed my NVQ Level 2 so this course is all about learning more about the skills employers are looking for so hopefully I can get a job at the end of it.”
The majority of the young people who enrol on the East Durham Business Service apprenticeship programme are self referrals, while some come via Durham County Council’s One Point programme. As well as the direct support delivered by Simon, they can also get advice in areas including housing, benefits and behavioural support.
Simon, who has previously worked for Jobcentre Plus and Connexions, added: “I operate open door policy here. A lot of the young people who come to me have done so because their friend has told them about it. And that’s great. That shows there’s a willingness to better themselves; all they want is someone to believe in them and that gives them the confidence they’re often lacking.”
For more information about the apprenticeship programme offered by East Durham Business Service visit www.edbs.co.uk or call Simon Naisbett on (0191) 5863366.