achieving change through enterprising solutions

What is Work IT Out?

Work IT Out is an eight-day training course designed to equip people with improved IT skills to help them navigate Universal Credit and be better prepared to enter the world of work. The course is accredited at City & Guilds Entry Level 3 IT and NOCN Level 1 Employability.  

Who can Work IT Out help?

Work IT Out is aimed at anyone aged 19 and over living in Stockton and Middlesbrough who would benefit from training to improve their IT skills to help them to navigate Universal Credit and to find employment.

What types of support are available through Work IT Out?

Over the course of the two weeks (four days Tues to Fri each week), Work IT Out covers the following elements:

Week 1

  • Navigate a computer
  • Navigate Universal Credit
  • Find and use software including how to set up an email account 
  • Computer and internet security
  • Use the internet for job searching including using Find a Job
  • How to apply for and how to use Universal Credit 
  • How to complete UC journal entries.

Week 2

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Help with preparing for basic interviews 
  • Create a CV and covering letter
  • Responsible Work Ethics
  • Problem solving
  • Budgeting 
  • Health and Safety awareness.

How do I get in touch with Work IT Out?

For more information about Work IT Out training course or to make a referral please contact 01642 255001 or email:



What is New Directions?

New Directions supports clients aged 15 to 29 across Tees Valley who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET); it provides access to specialist employment support and a helping hand into education and training so that people can move forward with their lives.

The £7 million New Directions project is being delivered by Actes in a unique partnership with Thirteen Group, Coast & Country Housing, North Star Housing and New College Durham. Actes is responsible for delivery in the Middlesbrough and Stockton areas.

Who can it help?

The project provides support to young people aged 15 – 29 with a wide range of support services such as: information advice and guidance including housing advice, training, mentoring, apprenticeships, job placements, volunteering opportunities and further education to help young people secure employment, education or training.

What types of support are available?

In addition, the employment support project includes a flexible fund to assist young people in overcoming barriers to progression. Typical purchases include travel fares and / or childcare costs to access support, essential interview clothing, work clothing and essential documents such as Birth Certificates, NI Numbers and DBS checks.

How do I get in touch with New Directions?

New Directions is delivered until the 31st of July 2018. You can contact the project on 07801 897 863 or email 

Visit the Facebook page at:

New Directions
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What is Free Your Potential?

Free Your Potential is an engaging and interactive training course focusing on increasing self-belief and emotional resilience. The award-winning training course encourages people to work individually and in groups to identify their strengths, set goals and learn how to make changes in their lives that will give them the confidence to move forward and to cope with setbacks along their chosen path. Delivered over 9 guided learning hours (3 x 3 hours) the courses are enjoyable and involve lots of activities that have been co-designed by previous participants. The course has positive psychology at its core and uses the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale to measure the participant’s emotional wellbeing and the impact of the training. Free Your Potential is accredited by the Open College Network.

Overall it concentrates on personal strengths and positives, not weaknesses or problems to help people build self-belief, think positively, and develop emotional resilience so that if, and when, things go wrong, you can bounce back and move on. It aims to open people’s eyes to opportunities and give them the confidence to improve their lives. 

Who can it help?

People in Middlesbrough who need to overcome personal and social barriers to help them move forward with their lives. The course identifies and builds upon individuals’ strengths, and helps people to understand and use a range of tools to help them set goals and achieve them.

By the end of the course participants’ will have taken part in team building activities and benefitted from peer support to improve their self-esteem and emotional resilience. They will know their own strengths, have goals in one or more areas of their lives, and be more likely to stay involved in other courses to support and achieve their goals

What types of support are available?

Training will be delivered in small groups by a qualitied tutor.

Delivered over 9 guided learning hours (3 x 3 hours) the training courses are enjoyable and involve lots of activities that have been co-designed by previous participants.

Free Your Potential is accredited by the Open College Network to ensure that participants are accredited for their learning

How do I get in touch with Free Your Potential?

For more information on the programme, please contact Abigail Fields or contact Abigail on 01642 856044.

Free Your Potential

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What was Market Yourself?

Market Yourself was an employability course which aimed to equip our clients with key skills to give them the confidence to promote themselves to potential employers and create new job opportunities.

Who did Market Yourself help?

The project offered practical advice and support to people aged 25 and over who had been unemployed for a period of six months or more. The course carried an NOCN Level 1 accreditation.

What types of support were available through Market Yourself?

Market Yourself offered a wide range of practical advice to guide clients through the full job application process; from preparing a CV and covering letter to exploring new opportunities to help clients expand their work history and equipping them with skills to help them to maintain a resilient and positive approach to applying for jobs. ‚Äč

The project introduced support programmes such as Wage Incentive and Work Experience to potential employers to encourage them to create employment opportunities. Practical advice provided by the course included preparing for interview including mock interviews, confidence building, dressing appropriately, communication skills and typical interview questions.

Clients were shown how to set up an email account for job applications and how to use Universal Job Match. Practical advice was given as to how to approach online applications and create a digital identity, including how to upload a CV and covering letter to a job website. Support was provided on how to research skills and techniques, how and where to look for jobs and how to target specific sectors that may suit transferable skills, alongside valuable websites to enable clients to help themselves and how to research potential employers.

Course instructors ensured that clients understood their responsibilities in marketing themselves for employment and provided clients with a portfolio upon completion of their training, which highlighted any potential gaps that Jobcentre Plus Advisors may have wanted to review.

What was the impact of Market Yourself?

Between December 2013 and March 2018, 1351 learners completed the Market Yourself course.


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What were the Work Clubs?

The Work Clubs provided information, advice and guidance to residents of Middlesbrough looking for employment to help them move closer to or into work. They were funded by Actes as part of our charitable objectives.

When did the Work Clubs operate?

Funding was initially approved by the Actes board in 2012 and ran until March 2017. In 2014/15 the Work Clubs were partly funded by Middlesbrough Community Learning from their Community Learning Fund.

Who was involved in the Work Clubs?

To deliver the Work Clubs service Actes worked in partnership with Middlesbrough Council who provide access to venues and Job Centre Plus who provide small amounts of funding for laptops and promotional materials.

What practical support did the Work Clubs provide?

The Work Clubs provided support in job journey planning and job searching techniques including CV development, interview skills and mock interviews, setting up e-mails and Universal Job Match access. Through the Work Clubs clients were also signposted to other job opportunities, such as volunteering. The Work Clubs also provided support with soft skills like social skills and self-confidence which can act as a barrier to employment and volunteering.

The work clubs operated five days a week at various venues across the town with mornings free for clients to ‘drop in’ with the afternoons for individual one-to-one appointments.

What was the impact of the Work Clubs?

Between April 2014 and February 2017 the Work Clubs were responsible for 11,709 client contacts.  In 2015-16 alone 421 individuals were given support to develop their CVs, and in its last two years 31.03% of Work Club clients received support with training, while many were given access to volunteering opportunities which provided valuable work experience. Aside from providing Information, Advice and Guidance, the Work Clubs provided a supportive and sociable environment to Middlesbrough residents, many of whom were among the furthest away from the job market.


What was Defining Futures?

Supported by a grant from the Virgin Money Foundation, Actes developed and delivered Defining Futures; a level 2 One Award accredited employability qualification. The training course included personal skills development, including communication, teamwork and problem solving and the use of social media to build a personal brand.  It also helped people to develop an understanding of what it means to be enterprising including an exploration of self-employment as an alternative to paid employment.

Who did Defining Futures help?

Defining Futures was aimed at long term unemployed young people in Middlesbrough who would benefit from in-depth support in exploring their strengths and preparing to enter the world of work.

What types of support were available through Defining Futures?

Delivered flexibly from venues across Middlesbrough, the training course covered the following elements:

  • developing practical employability skills such as preparing and tailoring CVs, job search techniques and interview preparation;
  • enhancing personal skills such as communication, resilience, team work and problem solving;
  • the use of social media to build and promote a personal brand; and,
  • what it means to be enterprising and an exploration of self-employment.

Clients were encouraged to provide feedback to ensure the course was tailored to their needs.

What was the impact of Defining Futures?

Between its launch in July 2017 and March 2018, outcomes for Defining Futures were as follows:

  • 95 learners completed the training course, surpassing the project target of 80;
  • 38 learners who completed the training course went on to secure employment;
  • 55 leaners who completed the training course went on to positive destinations (work or training);
  • Defining Futures received significant support from Jobcentre Plus staff, third party organisations and the wider VCSE community who ensured that the course continued to be well promoted and attended.

NB: Those in employment are contacted again after three and six months.