New service ‘levels up’ prospects for Gateshead job seekers

In response to a call from Government for innovative ideas designed to tackle community renewal, a new partnership has been formed in Gateshead to support people into employment.

The ‘Future You’ partnership joins five independent community and voluntary sector (CVS) organisations with Gateshead Council’s employment and housing teams, to help hundreds of people who are facing challenges with their next steps into employment. Future You will involve a wide range of activities such as help to get involved in volunteering, help in getting started on free vocational training, as well as provision of confidential support and advice to help resolve people’s worries about money and keeping a roof over their heads.

Jayne Graham MBE, Commercial Director of Citizens Advice Gateshead, who is leading the CVS partners working alongside council teams, said: “‘Future You’ is piloting a unique approach by drawing on the skills and resources of all of the partners involved.

“We have six months to show what we can do, so we’re focusing on doing what we do best. Each of the partners is offering something new to Gateshead residents that will make a real difference to their work skills and experience. Youth Focus North East for example is offering youth work experience and Level 2 training in youth work for anyone interested in exploring this as a new route to employment, as well as training the local support network in how to better engage with young people.

“Citizens Advice Gateshead has designed a much-needed two-week telephone skills and call centre training course, drawing on our experience as one of Gateshead’s primary call centre operators, so people can take advantage of the work opportunities in this growing sector.”

Another key focus for the Future You project is encouraging and supporting people over 50 who have been away from the workplace, often while providing care for relatives, to plan ahead and start thinking about their next steps in the future.

Ian Wolstenholme, Chief Executive of Age UK Gateshead, another of the partners in the project, is delighted to be involved in such an innovative approach. He said: “Pulling together the activities that form Future You has been a great experience – we’re now pleased to get to the starting line so people can get involved. The combined knowledge and experience of our partners, including Connected Voice, 2 Way Tenancy CIC, Youth Focus North East and our lead CVS partner Citizens Advice Gateshead, brings some great new ideas and unique support for people who need help to take their next steps. This, alongside Gateshead Council’s Working Gateshead team, presents a real opportunity to get closer to employment that I hope the people of Gateshead across all generations will grab with both hands.”

Cllr John Adams, Cabinet Member for Housing at Gateshead Council, said: “People and families using our homelessness services face a great many challenges, not least the means and confidence to sustain the tenancy of a new home. The link between housing and employment is crucial. The Future You partnership approach will provide lots of opportunities to do something quite different, to build confidence and skills and help residents to start making progress towards what has maybe previously felt like an impossible goal – a job as well as a secure home.”

Anyone in Gateshead wishing to get involved in Future You, or wanting to refer someone to get involved in the project, should call 0191 300 3900 or visit to find out about all the activities on offer, and register their interest in getting involved. The Future You Support Team will be on hand to discuss individual needs and help identify the right support.