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New website helps people access job and training opportunities in the North East

A new website with job opportunities, apprenticeships and training courses in the North East has been launched to support people in the North East who have lost their job as a result of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

www.northeastopportunities.co.uk lists opportunities in the North East, with similar sites available in other regions across the North of England.

Michelle Rainbow, Skills Director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Businesses and communities in the North East have been hit hard by the pandemic, and we have seen our rate of unemployment increase. This new website is the result of collaboration across the North and makes it easy for people to see the employment and training opportunities that are available in our region.”

The North has been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, suffering an estimated decline of 20.7% in GVA between 2019 and Q2 2020. The NP11 – a group of all 11 Northern local enterprise partnerships – has partnered with software specialist PDMS, to launch a pilot of their innovative online service called SignedUp Skills to help those affected. The pilot will run until the end of 2020, with the aim that if successful, it could develop into a long-term initiative.

The free-to-use platform makes it easier for those across the North, who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to find new employment and training opportunities in their local area. The website is a comprehensive resource for accessing real-time vacancies, training courses, and apprenticeships across the region, as well as finding opportunities from throughout the UK.

More than just a traditional online jobs board, the service provides users with unique insights into their region’s growing industries and identify the skills and training most in demand in their communities. This includes information and signposting towards industries where there is particular demand and important regional sectors.

People from across the North can use the platform to access a wealth of employment and training opportunities immediately. This resource will enable those who have been adversely affected economically by COVID-19 to plan their next career steps in confidence. Careers guidance, information, and advice will also be provided on the website.

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the NP11 and Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, commented: “Many people and businesses across the North find themselves facing an uncertain economic future.

“Now more than ever, to achieve a confident North with the skills it needs to thrive, we must work across sectors to build a culture of  progression and development in our business that helps both companies and individuals flourish.

“The North will be integral to the future economic recovery and prosperity of the nation. However, our region’s recovery can only be as strong as the economic strength and security of the people living here. To deliver extraordinary economic and social transformation, we must not only invest in the technology and the skills for today, but also for the future.

“Working together with LEPs, combined authorities, Mayors and civic leaders to address the skills gap, our ambition is to create a careers platform for the whole of the North, which will guide people through these difficult times and help connect them with prospective job opportunities.”

Chris Gledhill, Managing Director of PDMS, commented: “Throughout the pandemic, technology has allowed us to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues. As we enter a new phase of this crisis, we can draw upon our software expertise to now connect people with new employment and training opportunities.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the NP11 in this pilot project which creates a platform to transform the lives of its users for the future and establishes a new starting point for labour market interventions.”

Visit the North East website at www.northeastopportunities.co.uk.


Home / north east careers

Innovative data-driven approach to shape careers guidance for young people in the North East

A ground-breaking pilot project is providing North East schools, employers, further education, higher education and training providers with live data on young people’s career aspirations and understanding of the different options open to them when they leave school.

In the first project of its kind, a new digital tool developed by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), allows educators to use current data from pupils at 16 pilot schools to tailor careers guidance and training opportunities for young people in the North East.

Neill Willis, Regional Lead, Education Challenge, at the North East LEP, said: “Much of the data regarding young people’s progression that can be used to inform careers education, information, advice and guidance strategic planning is historic, with time lags of up to two years. For the first time, we now have up to date data, based on hundreds of students, which we can use to help improve the prospects of young people across our region.

“This data tells us, for example, how many young people want to pursue a career in health and life sciences, how many are interested in higher education or how many need more help in understanding what apprenticeships are and how to apply. The data will be used and shared with partners to ensure further guidance and experiences are tailored to fit with their needs.”

The data is gathered through careers leaders and careers interviews with students at the 16 pilot schools. The students meet with a qualified careers adviser seven times across two academic years and, in between each meeting, their feedback is used to shape the guidance and interventions they receive.

The impact of interventions such as careers workshops, encounters with employers, and mock interviews, can also be more accurately tracked using the data.

“Data is collected as students move through year 10 and 11, so it’s not just a snapshot,” said Neil Willis. “After each interview, the students’ data is fed into a digital tool which collates and analyses it, giving us the ability to see individual information, and regional trends, in young people’s understanding of their possible choices and their post-16 intended destinations.

“This has the potential to further transform careers education, information, advice and guidance in the North East, making it more targeted and impactful, and giving young people the best possible start in their careers, training or further education.”

The findings from the project will be shared with schools and colleges across the North East, as well as employers and training providers, enabling them to base their programmes and engagement with education on an accurate understanding of young people’s needs and ambitions.

The pilot project is part of the Department for Education-funded Opportunity North East, which is designed to ensure all pupils have the same opportunities to learn, develop and achieve success, regardless of their background or where they live. The pilot focuses on Challenge 4: too few young people find a pathway to a good career. The pilot is delivered jointly by the North East LEP and Tees Valley Combined Authority where a further 12 secondary schools are involved.

To find out more, contact Neil Willis on [email protected].

Home / north east careers

Moving on up: easing the transition from school to work during 2020

Matt Joyce, Regional Lead: North East Ambition at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), talks about the support available for young people who have had to make decisions about their futures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, the country went into lockdown just as many young people were beginning to make important decisions about their futures.

For some students who are moving on from school or college and beginning the next stage of their education or starting work, this is a particularly crucial part of the academic year, a time when they will be talking to their school or college careers advisers, and other key staff, in order to decide what’s the best route for them and to get support applying for different opportunities.

That’s why the skills team here at the North East LEP has been working closely with schools and colleges in the region to support them at a time when it’s been difficult to deliver careers guidance in the usual ways.

Together, we wanted to make sure that young people – and also their parents and carers – are equipped with all the information they need to make informed decisions, even when they might not have been able to access the usual face-to-face support from their school.

A new website – jobopportunitiesnortheast.co.uk – now brings together information for young people and their families on the full range of options, from apprenticeships and university to the new T-Level qualifications which are rolling out from this year. In addition, it highlights how they can access further information, advice and guidance – from professionally qualified, trusted sources – if they need it.

It also includes the latest government announcements which affect young people, such as the new Kickstart Scheme, designed to help employers create six-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Our aim is to help young people to realise their career aspirations and also to reduce the number who are at risk of not being in employment, education or training (sometimes referred to as NEET).

The new website also contains the latest job vacancies which have arisen across a range of sectors as a result of COVID-19 – ranging from vacancies with small businesses to new roles with large corporates like Sage UK – and guidance for business owners on workplace safety and adapting to post-pandemic working.

Over the next few months we’ll also be working with employers to see how we can create meaningful ways for students to gain virtual experiences of the workplace when traditional placements and visits to workplaces might be more difficult to arrange than they were pre-COVID. The use of new technology opens up a lot of possibilities and it’s vital that we make sure that links created between education and industry are not lost.

This all ties in with the broader work of the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group, which is leading the region’s economic response to the pandemic, mitigating the impact on the North East economy, and readying the region for recovery.

One area of focus for the group has been keeping people in employment, and that includes looking at the impact of the pandemic on the cohort of young people who are taking their first steps into the world of work.

As well as our work with schools and colleges, we’re talking to employers about the skills they need from their workforce – including new starters who are fresh from education – and how things are changing for businesses as a result of the pandemic.

As ever, it’s the combination of schools, colleges and employers working together which will help each and every young person in our region to achieve their potential and successfully make the transition from education to the world of work – even now, during one of the most difficult years many pupils in our region will have faced.

Visit jobopportunitiesnortheast.co.uk to see the latest information for young people who are moving on from years 11 to 14, as well as job vacancies and guidance for employers.