DURHAMWORKS is a programme for young people aged 16-24, living in County Durham, who are not in education, employment, or training.

We are a partnership programme between Durham County Council and six other organisations, working together to support young people, and to help them create their future.

All involved organisations contribute their own expertise and experience to provide a service which is individually tailored to each young person.

DurhamWorks offers a variety of support to help young people forge their own way in life, including:

  • One-to-one support with a dedicated member of the team
  • Helping them find out what they want to do
  • Getting them the skills and qualifications they need
  • Finding them the experience they need
  • Supporting with benefits, housing, and care arrangements
  • Helping them into work, volunteering, further learning, or training
  • In-work support and after-care, up until July 2021.

Each young person who signs up with DurhamWorks will be treated respectfully and fairly, in a safe and welcoming setting. DurhamWorks advisors will work with each young person to draw up a plan to help them fulfil their potential and work towards their ambitions.

Christopher Lambert, 18, found DurhamWorks after he was made homeless and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He said: “They were talking to me about education and accommodation and trying to help me get my feet on the ground.

“I have learnt some new skills through DurhamWorks, such as punctuality, dressing appropriately, communication skills, and CV writing. They have shown me what I am capable of.

“Because they were backing me, it was always like there was someone there waiting on the side lines supporting me. You can get out there, make your own money, and do something you enjoy, and through DurhamWorks I have learnt that.”

Young people may need guidance on building a CV, help with searching for and applying for jobs, or support to prepare for an interview. DurhamWorks can also provide them with ongoing information, advice and guidance once they have successfully secured a post.

DurhamWorks is an inclusive programme working with a diverse range of young people across County Durham to remove any barriers preventing them from progressing.

Amanda Lowes, whose son Joe signed up to DurhamWorks after they realised college just wasn’t for him, said: “Joe doesn’t fit into any envelope, and he has Asperger’s. College wasn’t the right place for Joe, and that’s when we got into DurhamWorks. He’s matured now because he’s realised he isn’t a kid and doesn’t need looking after all the time, and that’s because of DurhamWorks.”

DurhamWorks can subsidise the initial transport, childcare, or clothing costs associated with a new role, and help young people to budget for these costs going forward.

DurhamWorks also has funding for employers to create employment opportunities for young people. SME businesses can access a grant of up to £5,000 to help with the cost of employing a young person through DurhamWorks. Plus, the DurhamWorks team will identify the young talent the business needs to expand and grow, and help with the interview and hiring processes.

Claire Gibbon, owner of the Park Head Hotel, in Bishop Auckland, has used DurhamWorks with success. She said: “DurhamWorks are helpful with the process and know what kind of business we are.

“It takes a long time to sift through people who may or may not be suitable for the business, but DurhamWorks fill that gap. They do a lot of the research and work hard with the young adults to find them the right place. We have taken two or three on now and we have had 100 per cent success rate, which is brilliant.”

DurhamWorks will help young people resolve problems that might be caused by a change in situation, in areas like benefits, housing, or care responsibilities.

Contact the team on 03000 262 930,  email DurhamWorks@durham.gov.uk or visit www.durhamworks.info for more information on all the opportunities that are available.