Unemployed young people are being helped to launch promising careers thanks to one of Stockton’s most forward-thinking companies.
And now RAW Digital Training is calling on other businesses to get involved in upskilling the next generation workforce and offering opportunities to youngsters.
From its base in Stockton’s Digital House, RAW works with Safe in Tees Valley to help unemployed or inactive 15-29 year-olds learn valuable online marketing skills.
Having launched last summer, the OnRoute Digital (PEEEPs – Personalised Education Employment & Enterprise Pathways) project is already paying dividends for participants who have gone on to work placements and jobs in everything from programming to catering.
Joanna Wake, managing director of RAW, explained: “OnRoute Digital is targeted at young people who are unemployed, and not in education or training, who may want to work in digital, but can’t see the routes open to them.
“We put them in front of professionals from across the digital sector, not just classroom trainers, who teach them hard skills that can help them find a job, launch a business or get them into an apprenticeship.
“It’s often assumed that young people automatically have great digital skills, but that’s not always the case.
“Having digital marketing knowledge is so valuable in the current jobs market and can be a ticket into a well-paid, lasting and interesting career.”
The project comprises two weeks of training at one of Stockton’s hubs for digital and creative businesses – Digital House.
Participants spend two weeks getting to grips with fast-moving digital marketing disciplines such as search optimisation, WordPress website building and social media advertising, within Digital House’s specialist conferencing facilities.
They then tackle a four-week unpaid placement within a real business – putting their new found skills to use and chalking up valuable experience for their CV.
Joanna added: “For so many of the OnRoute trainees, the work experience has proven to be pivotal in opening the door to a career.
“We really want to encourage other small and medium sized businesses to think about how taking on a placement could instantly benefit their business, while offering someone a great chance and paying into the future skills provision.
“Digital marketing skills are crucial across all sectors, and this is a fantastic way to introduce such capability into a business.”
OnRoute Digital (PEEEPs) is a youth employment initiative delivered under the wider £20m Safe in Tees Valley partnership.