A series of offers to help job hunters and employers is launched at a showcase event this week.
Northern is teaming up with Middlesbrough Council to help job seekers get to interviews and work opportunities, along with permits to help workers with commuting costs.
The initiatives – aimed at helping local people into work as well as boosting Middlesbrough’s economy – will be launched at the Middlesbrough Jobs Fair event at the Town Hall on Wednesday (June 6).
The Northern initiative has two key strands:
• A 50% rail discount for job seekers on Northern trains – helping them get to interviews, meet potential employers and find work
• An annual rail permit scheme with Northern aimed at local businesses, giving staff access to low-cost travel, including several weeks free per year
Middlesbrough Council and Northern are also working on a further initiative to support job seekers and attract large businesses and investors plus those looking to relocate to key regeneration sites such as Centre Square and TeesAMP.
Middlesbrough Jobs Fair will feature more than 600 permanent, temporary and apprenticeship vacancies across sectors as diverse as technology, construction, engineering and leisure.
A ‘Digital Showcase’ will put the spotlight on some of the Tees Valley’s up-and-coming digital businesses specialising in gaming, VR and digital technology.
The event – in the spectacular surroundings of the newly restored and refurbished Middlesbrough Town Hall – is hosted by the council in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, the National Careers Service, Middlesbrough College and Middlesbrough Community Learning.
Employers will welcome job seekers to stands in the Town Hall’s Crypt, Main Hall and old Fire Station, all fully upgraded as part of a recently completed £7.7m Heritage Lottery Fund-backed project.
Northern Regional Director North East Mike Paterson said: “As the main regional rail provider, we are committed to supporting the growth of the North East economy through better public transport.
“Our support to job seekers is a key part of our wider scheme to transform travel in the North East, with extended services already launched in Tees Valley and much better integration between rail and bus.
“By 2020, we will have replaced all of our Pacer trains with fully refurbished 156 and 158 units, featuring free wi-fi and at-seat charging points and significantly increased the number of our local services.”
Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “It’s all very well having new jobs in our local economy, but people need to be able to get to and from work, so this welcome initiative from Northern will make a difference to a great many people.
“It will also help people get to the interviews that could transform their lives, and help major employers looking to tap into Middlesbrough’s enormous potential.”
Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald added: “I am delighted that Northern are offering discounted rail tickets to jobseekers.
“One of the main barriers to people accessing work is the cost of travelling to interviews or workplaces.
“The knock-on effects will be hugely beneficial and this kind of integration between the Local Authority, Northern and local businesses is exactly what we need in Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley.”
• Middlesbrough Jobs Fair takes place at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Wednesday, June 6, from 10am to 3pm.