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Actes helps young people to find a New Direction

Actes has supported 167 young people from Middlesbrough and Stockton into employment and training over the past year, since becoming a delivery partner for New Directions.

The charity works closely with hard to reach communities across Tees Valley to help combat unemployment and reduce isolation by helping individuals progress towards their aims and goals, be that in education, training, employment or a more stable lifestyle.

Last July Actes, was enlisted as a partner for the £7 million New Directions project after funding was awarded from the European Social Fund and the Department of Work and Pensions to deliver the new Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).

New Directions supports people aged 15 to 29 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) with specialist support to provide information advice and guidance, training, mentoring, apprenticeships, job placements and further education to help those young people move forward with their lives.  The project also includes a flexible fund to assist young people in overcoming the barriers such as the lack of right skills or of childcare which prevent them progressing and finding the right employment.

Actes, which is currently working with 117 clients through the New Directions programme, works closely with individuals to offer one-to-one support, building confidence and improving employability skills, practical support with CV writing and interview techniques and signposting to jobs, volunteering and training opportunities.

Shan Qader, now aged 30 and from Middlesbrough, met Actes’ New Directions recruiter at the job centre and was referred on to an adviser to support her through the job hunting process. She has recently started a new full-time role as a customer service adviser.  Shan said: “My adviser helped me to improve my CV, offered support with completing job applications and provided tips on interview techniques. New Directions definitely worked for me as I’ve now secured employment and I’m enjoying my new role.”

Twenty-two year-old Jade Greensmith, also from Middlesbrough, has received support from the New Directions programme.  Jade undertook volunteering roles while being supported by her adviser with CV writing, interview techniques and job applications.  Jade applied for a role at the Trending Middlesbrough clothing bank when it became vacant but unfortunately did not get the post at the first attempt. She was so determined to get involved in Trending, which provides good quality clothing to those most in need in Middlesbrough, that she started volunteering for the project and when the support role became vacant again, Jade with her volunteering experience and ongoing support from New Directions, went on to secure the role, she said: "Hard work really does pay off – I adore my job and really couldn't be happier.’’

Sandra Phillips, chief executive at Actes, said: “Over the past year we’ve been able to utilise our expertise of working with young people, including those with complex needs who are distant from the jobs market, to help move them closer to, or into employment.  We’re delighted to have helped 167 young people from Stockton and Middlesbrough into employment or training and are currently assisting many more to reach their full potential.”

For further information about New Directions contact 07801 897 863, or visit the Facebook page /NewDirectionsMiddlesbroughStockton