Changing Lives Employability services has hit an important milestone this month, supporting its 700th person into paid employment, since 2010 when the first project began.

Despite the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the service, which includes a series of projects across the North East, has been able to hit this wonderful milestone and has been able to continue to support people facing barriers to finding work to get back into employment.

The service is made up of a number of employability partnerships operating across the North East, these include Moving on Tyne and Wear, Step Forward Tees Valley, L!nkd and ROAD providing support to adults living in County Durham.

Services provide tailored 1-1 support for people facing barriers to employment who are looking to get back into work, education or training. They could be facing challenges such as long term unemployment, health issues or have criminal convictions and have been involved with the Criminal Justice System.

Over the last year, the service has had to adapt to provide support for people during the Coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns and they have been working harder than ever.  One to one support sessions have been delivered over the phone or online, and they have even still been able to deliver business placements for people to gain industry insight remotely.

People accessing support haven’t let the restrictions hold them back either and Employment Navigators have been busier than ever. But with more people facing unemployment and fewer employers taking on new staff or placement opportunities, it is a challenging time to get people already facing barriers back into steady employment.

Despite the challenges, the team have been able to work with many people to identify their career goals support them back into their ideal job. During the pandemic alone the team helped 42 people secure a paid job. They have also managed to get 39 people into training and a further 46 into volunteering placements, which will help to improve their skills, confidence and future opportunities.

Val Chybowski Area Manager said: “This is a phenomenal achievement for the team and to meet this milestone alone, never mind in the middle of a pandemic is a testament to how hard and committed the team have been. This past year has brought extra strain to the people we support many of whom have faced already really tough challenges, so we are so proud that we have been able to continue to support them to achieve their goals. “

To find out more about Changing Lives Employability service and the support available you can find out more here.

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