A new facility has opened to help young disadvantaged people in North Tyneside.
Children’s charity Barnardo’s has opened the Barnardo’s Employment Training and Skills (ETS) North in the Youth Village, Hudson Street, North Shields.
The service now features more space, helping create improved facilities after 30 years in Palmersville and Whitley Bay.
Officials say the new base is in an area more accessible for isolated and deprived communities.
Among the features to help youngsters learn roles are classrooms for painting and decorating, a forklift simulator, hair and beauty salons and more traditional classrooms for English and maths.
Christina Saunders-Wingfield, manager at Barnardo’s at ETS North, said: “At Barnardo’s, we believe every child should be given the chance to fulfil their potential.
“For many vulnerable young people, apprenticeships and training are a vital step on the path to independence and Barnardo’s is proud to give so many of them such opportunities.
“We work with young people to improve their confidence, to tackle their issues, and to be the place in which they will gain their qualifications to find success in careers they enjoy.
“We help some of the most disadvantaged young people in the 14 to 25 age group to be supported into employment and training.
“Those who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training), who are not engaging with education, often have multiple vulnerabilities including poverty, domestic violence, poor mental health, substance misuse and learning disabilities.”
Barnardo’s opened its training centre in 1998 originally in Whitley Bay. In the time it has been open it has trained nearly 5,000 young people, providing advice and advocacy on the skills needed to support sustained employment.
It focuses on increasing confidence, resilience and self-esteem through employment, work experience, volunteering, educational opportunities and qualifications.
Last year at 85 per cent of young people progressed into employment, further or higher education.
Barnardo’s nationally trains and supports more than 3,000 young people across 30 specialist services each year in partnership with local and national employers, schools, colleges and other charities.