Newcastle College secures funding to lead community employment project

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Newcastle College has been awarded a share of £7.2million from the North East Combined Authority, to support adults across the North East into employment.

A total of £1.3million has been allocated from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to the Open Doors: Beyond Barriers project, which launched on 1 April.

The project will be led by Newcastle College, with Newcastle United Foundation, Winnovation, Education Partnerships North East, the Prince’s Trust, Children North East, Groundwork North East & Cumbria and The Key as delivery partners.

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Over the next twelve months, Open Doors: Beyond Barriers will offer more than 900 residents across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland, access to resources, activities and support that can aid them in their journey towards employment.

Open Doors: Beyond BarriersOpen Doors: Beyond Barriers
Open Doors: Beyond Barriers

Each project partner will work in the heart of their local communities to offer confidence-building activities that will help individuals overcome and break down the barriers that prevent them from seeking employment, whether that’s a lack of qualifications, low confidence or health issues.

The aim of Open Doors: Beyond Barriers will be to offer individuals a tailored support plan, with the chance to take part in activities that contribute to their personal development and prepare them to take the next step in their journey towards seeking employment.

From returning to further education to undertaking volunteering work or even joining a sports club, the project will help residents to:

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  • develop new social connections and boost self-esteem and confidence
  • gain new skills including IT, English and maths to improve employability prospects
  • undertake accredited qualifications to boost their CV
  • understand what job opportunities are available and how they can access them.

Jo Phillips, Director of Lifelong Learning at Newcastle College, said: “We’re really excited to work alongside so many local partners and help people across our region.

“There are lots of complex reasons that people are out of work, whether it is health, finances, caring responsibilities or something like a lack of confidence and access to the support they need. Our aim with Open Doors: Beyond Barriers is to provide individual support that helps people in our communities overcome their own personal challenges towards a brighter future.

“Each of our partners work with different communities and offer different opportunities so by working together we hope to ensure that residents can access the support that’s right for them.”

Andy Foster, Director of Programmes of Impact at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Open Doors: Beyond Barriers is a fantastic opportunity to build positive change for communities across the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland and we are thrilled to deliver this programme alongside Newcastle College.

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“Together, we can improve employment opportunities and outcomes for young people in our region through meaningful support and personal development activities which enables them to achieve their personal goals and reach their full potential.”

Open Doors: Beyond Barriers is a twelve-month project supported by the North East Combined Authority and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.