The Challenge:

​Finding ways to support hard-to-reach teenagers who are classed as NEETs (not in education, employment, or training) as well as tackling antisocial behaviour across North Tyneside.

Many of these young people have faced real adversity in their short lives and needed to make a fresh start by being helped to raise their aspirations, supported to grow in confidence and maturity and find opportunities within the work place.

The Solution:

Working Roots was set up in partnership with North Tyneside Council and designed to give vulnerable young people in the area new workplace skills.

It aims to provide a more practical solutions for 16-18 year-olds who need to develop skills, confidence and experience to increase their future job prospects. Trainees gain experience by working with Kier North Tyneside to learn skills in fencing, gardening or painting and decorating, which are then put to use updating council owned properties. Trainees also receive a £50 weekly allowance, complete basic maths and English qualifications and gain a vocational qualification in either horticulture or construction.

The Impact:

Since its launch in 2013 the scheme has seen 41 trainees successfully complete the course, with some going on to secure employment or further training opportunities.

Chief officer of Justice Prince, Karen Clark, described the programme as transformational, and said the young people had made enormous strides regardless of their level of ability. Retention and attendance have also been excellent. “The programme provides a real value for money service to the community, it adds huge social value, communities feel safer, stronger and cohesive, families feel more confident about the future of their young people and the young people see Working Roots as an opportunity to prove themselves and change their lives,” she said:

" This is a fantastic project with wide-ranging benefits for the environment, local people, community safety, and the prospects of our young trainees. Many of these young people have faced real adversity in their short lives, but Working Roots helps them to make a fresh start by raising their aspirations, supporting them, and helping them to grow in confidence and maturity. This is a very effective partnership which is unlike anything in the north east, and the evidence suggests that the positive impact continues long after the completion of the one year course. "
Norma Redfearn Elected Mayor North Tyneside

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