Employability support and skills training

This page tells you about our employability support programmes, including Better Working Futures, Building Better Opportunities, Generation North East, North of Tyne Working Homes, and a range of skills training to help you find work.

Northumberland County Council offers a number of employment and skills programmes, in partnership with our funders and delivery partners, to help our residents raise their skills and move into work. This may be for those who are moving into work for the first time, need to change jobs, want to improve their skills, or are returning to the labour market. All support is tailored to individual needs.

By using a variety of delivery partners in the voluntary/community, public and private sectors, programmes can offer support to meet a wide range of needs. This includes helping you to gain the skills and experience that employers are looking for. Northumberland County Council also works with local businesses and organisations to match residents with vacancies, and the kind of work experience to help a move into work.

The govenment are now offering The Skills Toolkit which has some free courses to help you learn new skills or get a new job. To learn more about this skills toolkit click here.
The drop-down boxes below give further information on each programme, but if you would like to know more about them and discuss the best option for you, You can call us on our freephone helpline 0808 196 3936 or email us at employmentandtraining@northumberland.gov.uk.
This programme, working in partnership with REED, gives people who face additional barriers to starting work the best support available. We provide holistic and targeted support to people with health conditions and those who are long term unemployed. 
Better Working Futures participants must be referred by their JCP Work Coach/DEA. After being referred you will meet your own personal Employment Adviser who will talk to you about your interests, skills, health and personal circumstances. Your advisor is there to help and support you and will make a plan to help to find you work, or engage in training and other activities to move you towards your employment goals.They will help you to develop the right  skills for the job you want and your personal plan will explore your best options, including self-employment opportunities. 
Once in work, our support does not end and we will keep in regular contact to help you settle into your new role and help with any issues that emerge helping you to succeed.

If you need further information please contact Rachel Druce:

Tel: 01670 623892

Email: rachel.druce@northumberland.gov.uk

Job Clubs

One of the things people feel most acutely when out of work is isolation. It’s easy to feel that you’re facing this all alone. Job clubs, where you can meet and be supported by experts as you search for employment, have been very successful in helping people to find permanent work.
We focus on helping you to prepare your CV and how to create compelling cover letters. We can also help to boost your confidence as you get ready for interviews. We run budget sessions to help you cope on benefits until you are able to get back into work. Our experts are always at hand to help you make the most of opportunities as they come along.
Job clubs are FREE to attend. You can come along for as long as it takes to get you into work. The best news is that you can come and join us at any time.
Here is the job club programme:
Wednesday 9:30 - 11:30 Alnwick
Tuesday 9:30 - 11:30 Ashington (Wansbeck Workspace)
Tuesday 13:00 - 15:00 Ashington (Wansbeck Workspace)
Wednesday 9:30 - 11:30 Ashington (Wansbeck Workspace)
Wednesday 13:00 - 15:00 Ashington (Wansbeck Workspace)
Tuesday 13:00 - 15:00 Bedlington
Tuesday 9:30 - 11:30 Berwick
Thursday 9:30 - 11:30 Blyth
Thursday 13:00 - 15:00 Blyth
Monday 9:30 - 11:30 Cramlington
Monday 13:00 - 15:00 Cramlington
Friday 9:30 - 11:30 Hexham
Tuesday 9:30 - 11:30 Morpeth
PLEASE NOTE: All of our offices across Northumberland are currently closed. In this interim period, some of our courses are being delivered digitally and we are happy to advise you of our current delivery and other support you can access.
If you would like to join one of our job clubs, or register your interest in a course, please do contact Rianne Gallon on 01670 626107 and you will be contacted as soon as we are able to offer you face to face support.
We hope to resume our service as soon as we can. We are continuing to closely monitor developments in relation to COVID-19 and we’re following guidance from Public Health England, the UK Government and the World Health Organisation.

Employability Courses

Getting a job takes as much skill as doing the job itself. Employers look for certain things in potential employees. They want people who are clear about what they can offer, who are confident, who present themselves well, and who understand what their potential employer wants.
Few people are naturally good at these things. We have to learn these skills. The good news is that we can teach you how to get a job, and how to get yourself ready for employment.
We run lots of short, intensive courses, including:
  • Boost your Interview Skills.
  • Boost your Wellbeing.
  • Digital Skills Booster.
We also run longer courses, including:
  • "Get Into" courses:
    • helping you to find work in retail, childcare, team-leading, and management.
  • Digital Employability courses:
    • helping you to improve your IT skills (you can even add on an IT qualification if this interests you).
Contact Rianne Gallon on 01670 626107 for more information.
The programme offers 18 - 29 year olds* (*subject to availability) tailored support, information, advice, and guidance to help you to find work. You will be allocated an Employment Advisor who can meet you in an outreach facility including libraries, Job centres and community centres. You will also have access to additional support from a digital advisor who will provide you with further support using Google docs, Facebook and email.
We will help you to update your CV, complete application forms, and create effective letters to approach employers for work. We also offer a vacancy matching service, work experience placements and access to job and training opportunities.
To register, log on to our website at www.generationne.co.uk or call Andrea Suffieled on 07825 826223 for more information.
Generation NE is part-funded by the European Social Fund as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural Investment Funds Growth Programme.


Bridge Northumberland is a voluntary programme to help people living in Northumberland who are out of work and aged 16+ to overcome barriers to training, education and work.

Participants get support from a dedicated Bridge worker to help get back into work, training or make positive changes to their lives by offering:
  • Employment and skills advice and guidance
  • Supported volunteering
  • Mentoring
  • Financial and debt management
  • Digital skills support
  • Building emotional resilience and wellbeing

Bridge Northumberland is a partnership, bringing together 6 voluntary and community organisations and led by Northumberland County Council, with a wealth of experience and knowledge in supporting the hardest to reach in Northumberland:
  • Northumberland Council for Voluntary Action (NCVA)
  • BRIC
  • Citizens Advice Northumberland
  • Cygnus Support
  • Northern Learning Trust
  • Northumberland County Council

The support is free and the programme is completely voluntary for anyone who is:
  • Aged 16 years not in education or training
  • 18 to 65 and unemployed
  • Lives in Northumberland
Click here to view the Bridge Northumberland website and find out more.

Or for more information contact kay.harringtonkemper@northumberland.gov.uk

We are funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and The European Social Fund.
European Union - European Social Fund North of Tyne Working Homes
Northumberland County Council logo North of Tyne Combined Authority logo

North of Tyne Working Homes is part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme.
North of Tyne Working Homes is a flagship £4.3m employability project, part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. It is the first large scale employment support programme launched across the North of Tyne Combined Authority area of Northumberland, Newcastle upon Tyne and North Tyneside.
The project is built on an innovative partnership between housing providers, housing associations, learning providers and local authorities including:
  • Bernicia Homes
  • Karbon Homes
  • Newcastle Futures Ltd
  • North Tyneside Housing
  • Northern Learning Trust
  • Northumberland County Council Housing Services
  • Your Homes Newcastle
The partnership is testing a new approach to supporting housing tenants to develop their skills and move into or towards work, education and training.
Our housing partners are well placed to identify where support may be needed by with their own tenants, and to work with them and supporting partners to deliver a range of support which is flexible and tailored to individual needs. The breadth of the partnership means this can include formal and informal learning, confidence building,
skills development, CV and job preparation, job brokerage and help to manage tenancies. This bespoke support can also help tenants deal with financial, family and other more personal issues which may be seen as barriers to employment.
Once people enter work, support from an employment coach may continue if needed to help them stay in work and progress.The unique feature of North of Tyne Working Homes is the integration of employment support and tenancy management, using employment coaches, housing officers and other support workers to provide a more joined up service to the participant. As well as a help to find work, tenants can build their resilience and gain the skills to sustain their tenancies.
Services are delivered in locations that best meet individual needs, including a range of neighbourhood based hubs across the area providing on-site services within wider social community networks. They are familiar and easily accessible to local tenants as centres of on-site education and training and wider learning.
Between April 2019 to March 2022 Working Homes will provide support to at least 1,650 North of Tyne residents.
For more information contact Ian Coull on 07966 323661 or ian.coull@northumberland.gov.uk
Northumberland County Council acts as Lead Accountable Body for North of Tyne Working Homes on behalf of the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

Northumberland County Council delivered the North East Mental Health Trailblazer on behalf of the seven North East Local Authorities from January 2017 to December 2019.

The programme delivered integrated employment support and talking therapies in partnership with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services in each area. It tested an integrated approach to support unemployed people with anxiety and/or depression to improve their mental wellbeing and to find work.  The programme used the Individual Placement Support (IPS) model, advocated by the Centre for Mental Health. 

The programme supported more than 1,450 people with their employability and skills while receiving talking therapies.  Over 270 had moved into employment by the end of the project.  Local authorities and partner organisations are assessing the findings and options for further activities. 

The programme was part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the 2014 - 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.

For any further information please contact Kevin Higgins
07546 359927
Our fully qualified Careers Advisers work in the community to support young people aged 16-18 who are not in education, employment or training, to find the opportunities they are looking for:
  • apprenticeships
  • college & training providers courses 
  • personal development opportunities.
We offer impartial information, advice and guidance, and during this time we can provide telephone/email information and/or advice.

Please contact us via email on careersteam@northumberland.gov.uk, or text or call the team on 07827 244027.

Visit the Careers Guidance Team webpage here.

Twitter: @NlandGuidance

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