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Youngsters offered routes to employment

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An innovative pre-apprenticeship scheme is offering youngsters in Newcastle the chance to brush up their employment skills.

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The programme is supporting eight young people from across the city to receive training and experience of bin collections, street cleansing and park and environmental maintenance.

They will also benefit from training in maths, English and health and safety at work, as well as receiving the weekly national minimum wage for the programme.

Delivered in partnership by Newcastle City Council, New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC), Generation NE and Newcastle Futures, it is hoped that the 12 week programme will prepare participants for work and increase their employability chances.

The young people will be supported to develop their CVs and identify other opportunities for work or training, following the course. References will be given and participants will be able to apply to Newcastle City Council’s full apprenticeship scheme, opening the door to a new career.

Kenny More, Head of Training with Newcastle City Council said: “This is the second cohort of Pre Apprentices that Highways Local Services have recruited. Of the nine in the first cohort, six have now moved on to full apprenticeships. We are hoping that these young people will gain the skills required to do the same.”

NTWDC, a partnership comprising Newcastle City Council and developers Barratt Homes and Keepmoat, is building new homes at The Rise in Scotswood. The project has already created 14 apprentices, many of whom engaged with similar pre-apprenticeship opportunities and outreach initiatives.

Development Director at NTWDC, Lee McGray, said: “This is a great opportunity for local young people to gain valuable work and life skills. NTWDC has - and will - continue to support initiatives that help local young people into work, be that at our own development or in the wider community.”

Donna Barker, Business Advisor from Generation NE - an organisation which helps local businesses to connect with the next generation of employees - said: “We believe that young people can bring many benefits to businesses, from sole traders to large organisations such as Newcastle City Council.

“Programmes such as these are great at getting young people ready for work and help to futureproof businesses by supporting the creation of the workforce of tomorrow.“

This year marks the 800th anniversary of Newcastle’s Mayoralty, a historic landmark for one of the oldest surviving civic institutions in the city. The new Lord Mayor of Newcastle and ward member for Benwell Scotswood, Councillor Hazel Stephenson, said: “this is a fantastic opportunity for both the local community and local young people. It shows what can be done when we work in partnership together as well as offering a pathway into employment for the next generation.”

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