The next generation of key workers have taken their first steps into the world of work though a Newcastle United Foundation project helping young adults to secure employment.

Despite thousands of workers across the UK now working from home, given leave or even made redundant amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, seven men and women have taken the opportunity to support the industries keeping Britain moving.

Working with the official charity arm of Newcastle United, the previously unemployed group of 18 to 29-year-olds are now working in the NHS, care industry and retail sector.

The teenager and young adults secured their roles with support from Newcastle United Foundation’s NE1 Works project, delivered by the charity’s employability team. The programme engages and enables young people not currently in education, training or employment.

Dawn Barber, Newcastle United Foundation Business Network Manager, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support organisations with their recruitment of key workers at such a critical time.

“This week, seven participants have gained employment through the NE1 programme, we have four now working as NHS 111 call handlers, another is now a carer, one is working with Morrisons supermarket and another with Retail Merchandising Services.

“These young adults are now playing an active role in keeping our communities safe by supporting the NHS 111 operation and ensuring our supermarkets are well-stocked and safe to visit.”

She added: “We are extremely grateful to those organisations that have chosen to support and mentor our young people who will now be developing their skills and confidence while carrying out lifesaving work.”

As part of the NE1 Works programme – which is part-funded by the European Social Fund and Newcastle City Council’s Newcastle Fund – participants are introduced to potential employers, guided through the job interview process and given industry insights into the city’s business community.

Daniel Hancock, NE1 Works Project Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We’re so proud of how our participants have developed in confidence and applied for the opportunities available to them.

“The NE1 Works programme allows young, unemployed people to access tailored, dedicated support to gain the skills they need to enter the workplace.”

Each participant will be supported throughout their employment experience and given the skills to secure permanent opportunities as the country gradually returns to business as usual.

Newcastle United Foundations’ Employability team work with a number of employment partners across the region, supporting participants with CV writing, mock interviews, workplace visits, work experience and volunteering.