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National award for Darlington jobs initiative
AN initiative that aims to help young people make the transition from education to work has won a national award.
The Foundation for Jobs campaign is a partnership between The Northern Echo, Darlington Borough Council and Darlington Partnership.
It brings together employers and education providers across Darlington to boost the levels of employment and ‘work-readiness’ of young people under the age of 25.
Foundation for Jobs was named the best local economic partnership at the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards, presented in London on Wednesday (March 13).
Since its creation last year, the Foundation for Jobs has provided more than 1,000 school pupils with direct contact from employers, as well as creating 110 new apprenticeships, 125 internship programmes and given 66 young people entrepreneurial skills to encourage future business creation.
Foundation for Jobs is supported by Tees Valley Unlimited, which works with partners to develop and promote the Tees Valley as a place to do business.
Following its success, it is hoped the Foundation for Jobs model can be rolled out across the Tees Valley.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the former Bishop of Durham, is among those to have backed the project.
Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “Congratulations to all involved – the staff and organisations involved and the businesses who have committed to giving Darlington’s young people a great future.
“The award is fantastic recognition of what we have achieved together.”
Chris McEwan, the council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration and chairman of the Foundation for Jobs board, said: “After all the hard work, the award is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the young people and local businesses.”
Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo, added: “I am proud of the leading role The Northern Echo has played in such an important initiative.”
Acting LGC editor Nick Golding said: “The quality of entries to this year’s awards indicates that local government is responding to financial pressure in the way it knows best – innovation.”