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16 Feb 2017
Will Goodall, from Stockton, has recently secured employment at WIS International in Thornaby as a retail stock taker, following help and support from the team.
Will heard about the New Directions scheme from his girlfriend who had recently found work with help from the team. Army veteran, Will contacted the team before being matched with an employability caseworker, Joanne Couhig, who gave him advice and guidance on following up applications, keeping a job diary and updating his CV.
While working alongside Joanne, it soon became apparent that Will felt his current housing situation was a barrier to gaining work. He was in hostel accommodation and was keen to apply for a Thirteen property so his rent would be more affordable.
With support, Will completed a housing application online and later the same day, he was thrilled to be offered a flat close to his family and friends. The team has also helped Will secure funding from the Royal British Legion for ‘white goods' for his new flat and apply to the Armed Forces Compensation scheme.
The New Directions team work with young people aged 15 to 29 who are classed as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), to access specialist support thanks to the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative funding. The scheme helps local people develop the skills required to get into employment or training. It can help people who may think they have a lack of confidence or education, poor health or anything else that might be holding someone back.
Will said: "Contacting the team at Thirteen was the best thing I could have done and their support has helped transform my life.
"I can hardly believe that not only have I managed to find a job that I enjoy but also a great place to live.
"I am grateful to the team who have helped me do things I never thought possible, and I would encourage others in a similar position to me to seek the help and support that is available. From my experience, they will do all they can to help."
Karen Kenmare, Thirteen's hub manager, said: "We are delighted that Will has benefited from the experience.
"This type of support addresses the issues that people feel are holding them back and helps them to develop the skills and confidence they need to access training and work.
"It also shows the benefits of drawing on other services within Thirteen, such as the housing and money advice teams to provide a holistic approach to addressing each client's barriers to employment."