Hat-trick joy for Darlington youth employment team

A team committed to helping young people into work and training is celebrating a triple dose of good news.

For not only is the Darlington Council YEI scheme being extended for another year into 2023, the team delivering it has celebrated its best year ever – and has become the Tees Valley’s most successful in the process.

The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) Programme supports young people aged 16-29 who are not in education or employment to move into training and work, giving them a helping hand to secure more permanent work in the future.

And the Darlington team’s 2021 results have seen it the most successful across the area’s consortium of providers.

During 2021, the Darlington Council-based YEI team had 240 new starts and progressed 258 people into a job (70 per cent) and education (30 per cent), alongside 111 in work or training after a six month period.

The last six months of the year saw the team record its most successful period ever, with 138 starts, 158 “positive outcomes” (entering jobs and/or full-time education) and 67 sustains (in work and/or education six months after leaving YEI).

The team also established the Darlington Youth Hub in Pathfinder House – a dedicated space that houses a Jobcentre Work Coach and has rooms for other agencies to work with young people.

Since it was set up in 2016, the Darlington YEI team has provided 872 starts, 791 positive outcomes and 379 sustains.

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “This is brilliant news for the young people involved and for Darlington.

“A thriving economy depends on a well-trained and dedicated workforce and this scheme, and the wonderful team who deliver it, helps to provide this. There are many opportunities for work in our area and our YEI team will help to ensure that local people are well placed to take advantage of what’s on offer.

“I am over the moon that our Darlington based team has achieved such fantastic success and is the best in the region.

”Councillor Jon Clarke, the council’s cabinet member for young people, added:

“Finding work and training opportunities for young people is crucial, not just for our thriving local economy, but for the wellbeing and self-esteem of those involved. I am delighted that the YEI scheme has helped hundreds of our young people onto the path towards a fulfilling career and education journey.

“Well done to Steven Winterburn and the YEI team who have worked hard to adjust to new ways of working as well as moving offices whilst continuing to deliver and improve on results that will have a direct impact on the lives and the future of your young people.”

The Darlington team can be contacted at 156 Northgate, Darlington, DL1 1QU.
Mobile: 07966 347401 VOIP: 01325 978250(Option 3)
Work: 01325 405898, email: steven.winterburn@darlington.gov.uk