The Youth Employment Partnerships bring key partners together to tackle the impact of COVID-19 on youth unemployment

The Youth Employment Partnerships (YEP) involves North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council and Northumberland County Council and providers of employment and skills support.

The YEP will ensure any gaps in provision for young people are addressed, and there is additional capacity to improve engagement of young people.  The activity will add value to the existing system of employment support for young people aged 16-24 – improving availability and access to employability and mental health services and indirectly positive outcomes associated with these for young people.

The partnerships will help bring together, coordinate and maximise existing capacity, and commission activity to fill gaps and will ensure:

  • additional provision is provided to young people addressing any gaps in the existing support framework.
  • additional capacity is provided at a local level, including through the voluntary sector, to improve the engagement of young people with existing services and support to improve reach into communities and maximise existing capacity.
  • improved understanding of need and ability to meet demand for support. Insights and intelligence gathered will help NTCA and partners respond to the needs of young people.


YEP is co-designed and co-funded, with two specific areas of activity:

  • Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Small Grant Programme 

Working with our delivery partner, Rocket Science, this programme was open to VCSE organisations who are delivering community-based activities to engage and support young people (aged 16 to 24) not currently supported through mainstream youth employment provision.

Project activities can include community engagement, wrap-around support and social inclusion activities for young people furthest from the labour market. Grants are between £5,000 and £30,000, with the average grant size expected to be around £15,000.

Seven grants were awarded in the first round of funding, supporting an estimated 335 individuals across the North of Tyne area. More information about each awarded project can be found below.  A second round of funding opened on 25th February, and closed midday on 18th March, the successful applicants will be announced later in the spring.

First round awarded projects – summaries

   Berwick Youth Project   

The project will bring employers closer to those who can support learning and employment (e.g. apprenticeships). The wrap-around support will give reassurance to employers that there is additional support to deal with issues outside of their normal remit with young people who face barriers to sustaining employment. The funding will go towards 1200 hours of qualified support worker time and 300 hours for liaison with employers, education providers and other agencies.  

   Circus Central 

The funding would increase capacity on both TROUPE and BTEC alternative education provision for young people aged 16-24 years old who are at risk of becoming Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). This includes employing a mental health and wellbeing practitioner to work with the young people and providing them with tablets and SIM cards.  

   Headliners (UK)   

Targets care experienced young people. Will teach young people digital and media skills, content creation in addition to CV building, job searching, budgeting and interview skills. Participants will produce a creative portfolio to gain their Level 1 OCN London certification.

   Newcastle Upon Tyne YMCA    

Community based workshops and sessions to provide opportunities to engage marginalised young people in activities covering a number of areas relating to the creative industries, examples would be taster sessions in film, digital media, creative writing, social media, marketing, art so they build skills allied to their desired industry to work in.

   NE Youth    

Programme offers a residential aspect to promote team working and leadership skills, delivers life and employability skills sessions and offers young people volunteering or mentoring opportunities to support them into work. It includes a team building day in an outdoors environment, teaching budgeting and wellbeing skills, provides a first aid qualification, volunteering opportunities.  

   People and Drugs (Silx Teen Bar Employability Project)  

Funding for detached and outreach street engagement work, as well as the one-to-one support and to link the young people to the Silx Employability Project which offers advice and support to young people aged 16-25 who are not in employment, education or training.

 Sport Works (North) CIC  

Courses delivered in Walkergate to address work skills, improve fitness/health and focuses on individual progression pathways, particularly for those who are among the most disadvantaged/disengaged from society, with special educational needs, disabilities and/or living in poor health. 



Capacity to support YEP partnerships 

A number of posts were created to develop and expand provision within each Local Authority area. The aim of the Partnership Coordinator and Employer Engagement roles is to bring together, coordinate and maximise existing capacity within youth employment services to improve the job prospects of young people in North of Tyne, thereby preventing long term youth unemployment.

These roles will develop a coordinated employment and skills youth offer to improve the job prospects of young people, as well as engage businesses in youth employment programmes which move young people into and towards to work.    This can include engaging young people in sessions and activities, and engaging and supporting employers to provide apprenticeships, traineeships, and jobs for young people through programmes such as Kickstart.


The contact details of the YEP team are below:

Newcastle – Partnership Coordinator – Employer Engagement


North Tyneside – Employer Engagement


Northumberland – Employer Engagement – Partnership Coordinator