We’re celebrating the 7-year success of our youth employment initiative

Our youth employment initiative (YEI) 'New Directions' has come to an end after a successful 7 years.

25 Oct 2023

New Directions ran from 2016 to 2023 and was a Tees Valley wide partnership project involving New College Durham, Thirteen Group, Actes, Beyond Housing and North Star Housing, and was funded by the European Social Fund, Department for Work and Pensions, and match funding.

YEI was launched in regions where youth unemployment was higher than 25% and supported young people aged 15-29 who were not in employment, education or training.

Over the last 7 years, our employability team have delivered the service and:

  • provided 1-1 support enabling young people to progress into work experience, jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities
  • sourced exclusive vacancies from our supply chain, internal teams, and external employers, linking our customers with direct employment opportunities as a result
  • supported marginalised young people to re-engage with education, employment, and training
  • addressed the basic skills needs of young people so they can enter the workplace effectively
  • supported young, single parents to overcome barriers they face when applying for work
  • supported those who moved into work to sustain employment
  • provided funding to address barriers to work, including the purchase of work equipment/tools, PPE, interview clothes, supporting with childcare and travel costs
  • delivered a series of bespoke accredited routeways for a number of employers, enabling those taking part to gain qualifications and secure employment at the end

Throughout the contract we worked with 3,342 young people resulting in:

  • 1062 moved into jobs
  • 141 moved into apprenticeships
  • 232 moved into vocational training
  • 142 moved into further education
  • 2513 supported interventions carried out with individuals to move them closer to their progression goals

Sarah Ruddy, corporate host at Thirteen commented "The YEI service helped me gain confidence in myself and my skill set. It also provided me with a chance to develop and grow towards the person I want to be. I am now a corporate host at Thirteen, and I’m grateful for the opportunities the scheme gave me." 

Sue Borrow, care and support manager, said “I have been delighted to be involved with the set up and ongoing management of the Youth Employment contract since it started in 2016.

"The service has provided so many opportunities for young people in the Tees Valley.  Many young people from the contract moved into work with both Thirteen and our suppliers and it’s been great to see their personal progression.

"Although the contract has now ended, Thirteen continues to offer support to both our own customers and the wider public in several localities.”

Well done to everyone involved, we look forward to continuing to support customers into employment and training.

For more information on our employability service email employability@thirteeengroup.co.uk or call 01642 947840. Alternatively, you can complete the form on our website Employment support - Thirteen (thirteengroup.co.uk).