AS the last in the current series of the North East Employer Coalition's (NEEC) North East Employability Focus, it is fitting to reflect on what the future may hold.
Established as one of 10 UK Employer Coalitions, the NEEC has successfully integrated welfare to work employer engagement expertise to Business Enterprise North East. The Employer Coalition now approaches the end of its tenure on 31 March and is very proud of its track record and achievements.
As one of Business & Enterprise North East’s portfolio of companies since 2009, Alastair MacColl, chief executive, comments on the success of the NEEC legacy.
“Through the NEEC, we have developed some really successful partnerships with businesses, establishing a solid reputation for our strategic approach to employability issues,” he said.
“So, while the landscape is changing nationally and regionally, we are still committed to ensuring that regional SMEs have access to great opportunities for growth and development.
“Sustainable employment is our goal since it is vital to establishing a thriving regional economy. But to make this happen, we must have access to the right level of skills and capacity.
“To this end, as we focus on expanding the regional economy, we will build on the legacy of the NEEC with a range of new services under the Employability Services brand offering the same calibre of support associated with the NEEC as we seek to improve the employment prospects of local people, particularly those that are furthest removed from the labour market.”
Paul Cuskin, NEEC’s strategic operations director, added: “Over the last 12 years we have worked directly with employers to meet their recruitment and skills needs.
“This has resulted in hundreds of new jobs for people outside the labour market due to unemployment, sickness or disabilities.
“Our legacy will continue through partnership working with Business & Enterprise North East (BE-NE) and Jobcentre Plus, ensuring that employers play a pivotal role in the development of employment and skills policies within the North East.
“Recently, we have been working with BE-NE to engage with the Department for Work & Pensions ‘prime contractors’ who will be responsible for delivering the government’s ‘Work Programme’.
“Our success to date has been wholly reliant on collaboration with multiple partnerships and agencies.
“ This same approach will be essential for the region if we are to tackle the challenges of high unemployment, particularly among young jobseekers.
“We are optimistic about the future under the new Employability Services brand and look forward to continuing and strengthening our established partnerships over the longer term.”
If you are an employer wanting more information, you are invited to contact the new Employability Services team working alongside BE-NE and Jobcentre Plus. Ask for Paul Cuskin or Jim Taylor on 07702 436567.
Read about our achievements at www.be-ne.co.uk/our-services/business-advice/working-with-employers and download our brochure at