• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

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Supporting families in North Tyneside

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 11.42.54Families facing difficulties are being given a helping hand to turn their lives around by North Tyneside Council and its partners.

After a successful pilot last year, the council is working with a range of organisations to support parents with complex needs to get back on their feet and closer to employment.

It is part of the local authority’s wider ‘Supporting Families’ work, which is the local version of the national ‘Troubled Families’ initiative that helps families most in need of help and support.

Beginning today (February 22), this latest project will see parents embarking on a month-long and fulltime training programme, providing them with relevant experience to prepare them for the world of work.

They’ll be given a placement with Kier North Tyneside, which will involve work experience in a construction-related area three days a week, while also completing a City & Guilds Level 1 construction qualification at TyneMet College for the other two days.

Speaking about the project, North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn said: “The Supporting Families project has been very successful, helping more than 460 local families often in very challenging circumstances, and making sure children get the best start in life.

“Many of these families have been desperate to turn their fortunes around and I am delighted they have been given the support to do so.

“The pilot to help people be more prepared for employment was successful last year, so I’m pleased we’re able to offer it again in 2016.

“As well as helping families gain the right experience and qualifications they need, it’s a great way to help build their self-esteem, confidence and reach their goals.”

During the four-week programme, participants will also be given help from the UCATT Learning Centre in using ICT and writing a CV.

Those taking part will be provided with a reference once they’ve completed the programme, to support future job applications. Debt management advice will be on hand for those who need it, too.

Each family is also allocated a designated Family Partner who supports and works with them.

Kevin, a father of two and stepfather to six, took part in the pilot last year, he said: ‘I worked with my Family Partner around readiness for work and was given the opportunity to engage in a six-week work experience with Kier.

“This allowed me to gain valuable experience in painting and decorating, house clearing, cleaning and IT skills and it also helped me gain confidence to look for work once the work experience came to an end.

“The work with my Family Partner and the chance to engage in work experience was valuable.

“Since this work experience I have gained full time employment, and was grateful for the opportunity.”

The Supporting Families project also involves working with schools, health and housing agencies to deal with issues affecting these families.

Kier regional director, Mike Furze, commented: “Having operated in North Tyneside for nearly seven years, everyone at Kier feels extremely passionate about supporting the local community. As a close working partner of North Tyneside Council we are keen to help them achieve their strategic objective of supporting people back into work, and we share their commitment to provide employment and training opportunities for local people.

“We’ve seen through the success of the pilot that this important initiative sets residents, including those who may be vulnerable or disadvantaged, on the road to achieving their full potential by equipping them with a combination of both vital workplace training and practical skills for life.”

By admin