An employment programme tackling youth unemployment in the region has already filled more than 450 positions in less than eight months.
Generation NE, which launched in February, is working to support north east SMEs to strengthen their businesses whilst increasing sustainable employment opportunities for young people.
With 459 vacancies placed, across a mix of apprenticeships, self-employment and full and part-time positions, the programme will support up to 2,000 young people aged between 17 and 24 years into work over the next three years.
Coun Grant Davey, employability and inclusion lead for the Combined Authority and leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “Since the introduction of Generation NE we have received a great deal of interest from the region’s SME community and young people striving to secure employment.
“Our team of dedicated business advisors are committed to helping SMEs to future-proof their business by engaging with young people, and with over 450 positions already filled to date we are certainly on target to place up to 2,000 young people into sustainable employment by 2018.”
The £4.5m employment programme forms part of the NE LEP’s Growth Deal and is a collaboration between five local authorities, including Newcastle, Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside and Northumberland councils.
Generation NE’s Mark Stamper said: “Investing in the workforce of tomorrow is one of the most effective ways for our region’s SMEs to strengthen their business and it is great to see so many young people and companies already benefiting from this landmark programme.
“I’d urge any small to medium-sized businesses looking to connect with young people, whether they’re looking to grow their team or offer work experience opportunities, to get in touch.”
For more information on Generation NE and its team of business advisors call 0191 230 0491 or visit www.GenerationNE.co.uk