County Durham trust tackles skills gap to steer youth into jobs

A trust established by a businessman to tackle youth unemployment has steered 84% of those who have stepped through its doors into full time work

Bill Marley, who founded The Employability Trust, with some of the young people being assisted into full time jobs
Bill Marley, who founded The Employability Trust, with some of the young people being assisted into full time jobs

A trusted established by a businessman to tackle youth unemployment has steered 84% of those who have stepped through its doors into full time work.

The Employability Trust supports young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs) across the East Durham area, offering practical experience and work-based training to help them get a foot on the career ladder.

The trust, which works in conjunction with a number of partners, has secured work with Metro Mail, Wilsonart and Seaward since launching last year, and has a board which includes many leading North East business people including chairman Alan Miller and members Meryl Dodd of Actif Ltd, Jacqui Chapman of JC Events, Debbie Charlton from MetroMail, Sally Waterston of Waterstons IT and Keith Gill of the Tanfield Group.

During 2013, the Peterlee-based charity gave 19 young people work experience placements and of those, 16 have gone on to find secure employment with businesses in the local area including Philadelphia Structures, Sinso Retail Services, Clipper and Country Style Foods.

The trust also directly employed 61 people between the ages of 16 and 24 on short-term contracts, while 50% of its workforce are apprentices who have been brought out of the benefits system and given the opportunity to earn while they learn.

Bill Marley, who founded trust after a 40-year career in industry, said: “These statistics are the biggest endorsement of everything the trust is about. We’re not only giving young people real work and life experience which is invaluable in helping them find employment; we’re also supporting them past the final hurdle which is them being taken on by one of the area’s businesses.

“During the last year we’ve helped 77 people into work; 61 here at the trust and 16 people who have gone on to find jobs following their work experience placement with us.

“These are young people who were out of work and stuck in the benefits system, lacking the confidence and self belief they needed to change their lives. However, what they didn’t lack was a willingness to work and what we instill in them are the skills and ethics which employers look for.

“Our job is essentially to get them industry ready so the local workforce wants to employ them.”

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