An unemployment charity has secured future work for young people within days of welcoming a senior local Government official.
The Employability Trust, which supports young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) by offering practical experience and training, was visited by of Sue Houston, the North East’s representative from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Houston took a tour of the Peterlee facility to see for herself the work being done by the team, which is headed up by chief executive Bill Marley.
Her visit coincided with the trust securing a contract with Peterlee-based electrical test equipment specialist Seaward Electronic, which has taken two members of the team, Melissa Hammond and Alex Errington, on short-term paid contracts.
The trust works in conjunction with a number of partners to help unemployed young people from across East Durham and Seaward Electronic joins other local employers MetroMail, Loricas and Wilsonart who have provided work.
Bill Marley said: “The timing of Sue’s visit coincided perfectly with the new contract we’ve just been awarded which has resulted in Melissa and Alex being taken on short term contracts to support the company with sub-assembly work.
“This is an excellent opportunity for them and demonstrates perfectly everything the trust is about, which is to equip young people with the skills they need to secure employment with local businesses.
“It was also a great opportunity for me to tell Sue all about the excellent work we’ve been doing in the last few months which has included supporting 85% of the people we’ve taken on work experience placements into secure full time employment with companies in the area.”
Sue Houston was visiting The Employability Trust as part of her role as Business Facing Assistant Director with BIS Local, part of the Government’s overall Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which has been created to support business growth, work with partners to deliver local policy and programmes and identify and realise economic opportunities.
Houston added: “I was very impressed and enthused by the passion of not only Bill but the whole team.
“The people employed there genuinely want to learn and work and I have the upmost respect for everything Bill has achieved.
“Youth unemployment is a massive problem not just in the North East but nationally and we need to be doing everything we can to tackle, so the importance of organisations like The Employability Trust cannot be underestimated.”
Over the past 11 months the trust has given 19 young people work experience placements and of those, 16 have gone on to find secure employment with businesses.