More recognition for Thirteen’s routeways programme

Thirteen’s routeways programme is now able to offer an even better service for customers, having achieved ‘direct claim status’ from awarding organisation, NOCN, after just one assessment visit.

Durham Routeways Team Photo With Gary Keen

19 Jun 2019

Gaining this status gives Thirteen the ability to claim qualifications for its routeways participants directly from NOCN following internal verifier checks, rather than having to wait for an external verifier. This means that successes can be recorded straight away, and customers can add the qualification straight onto their CV, receiving their certificates within a few days.

The external audit from NOCN looked at Thirteen’s DurhamWorks contract, training delivery, materials and feedback processes to customers on the level two routeways that run across Durham and more recently, the Tees Valley.

Gary Keen, YEI training coordinator at Thirteen, said: “To achieve direct claim status after just one visit reflects the trust and confidence NOCN has in what we’re doing. The feedback was exceptional, and this is a huge achievement for everybody involved. The simplified process means that we are more efficient and are able to offer an even better service to our customers, securing their well-earned qualification much faster than before.”

The new status comes after Thirteen’s employability team were awarded ‘Resident Employment / Training Initiative of the Year’ at the prestigious Northern Housing Awards last month and the routeways programme was recently given the top grading, a grade one, in its first assessment by DurhamWorks, which funds the Durham routeways scheme as part of the Youth Employment Initiative.

The routeways programme was launched by Thirteen’s employability service in February this year and supports people who are not in employment, training or education. The two-week course, in either hospitality or customer service, provides a level two qualification and guaranteed interviews for live job vacancies with local employers. Building on its success, the service recently expanded into the Tees Valley. In the last month, ten people have moved into work after completing a routeway.

The next routeways are now open for enrolment in Peterlee and Durham City, starting on 24 June. Courses take place every month in various localities across County Durham for 16 to 24 year olds, and across the Tees Valley for all ages. For more information or to book a place, contact the team via email at or by calling the employment support team on 07764 695 631 or 07816 070 370.