Kate Culverhouse, Chief Executive of Groundwork North East & Cumbria, a charity which supports people to improve their employability through training and volunteering opportunities, said: “These disappointing figures are an indication that the skills base in the North East is seriously lacking. Employment is a game in which the goal posts are constantly moving and to stay in the game by gaining new skills and developing your existing abilities, can be costly, both in terms of time and finances.
“To help people secure long-term employment, we need to make sure that there are experience and training opportunities available to everyone in the region. We particularly need to support older people to up-skill so they can progress into higher paid roles, opening up opportunities for younger people entering the labour market. This is something we at Groundwork are actively pursuing, and over the last year we helped almost 1,000 people progress into further education, training, employment or gain formal qualifications.”