We are serious about meaningful co-production and co-design, and we are passionate about the use of lived experience in policy making.   

As part of this, the Mayor of the North of Tyne is looking into the barriers to good work in the region, examining challenges and opportunities for equity, diversity and inclusion in employment. 

This includes challenges faced by our residents with protected characteristics, as well as the challenges faced by local employers in recruiting a diverse workforce.   

We ran two Equalities Assemblies in November 2022 where we heard from over 50 residents with protected characteristics about their experiences in gaining and maintaining good work. We focussed on recording the insights and voices of residents and their experiences of inequality.  We also asked residents to submit art and poetry to us which represented how they feel.   

To ensure these were genuinely inclusive events, NTCA co-designed the Equalities Assemblies with the Voluntary Organisations Network North East (VONNE) and over 20 voluntary sector partners crossing all protected characteristics groups.  

Reflecting on the events, elected Metro Mayor for the North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll, said: “Diversity of background and experience means diversity of knowledge, character, thought, and ideas. What smart employer wouldn’t want these things? I listened to stories of discriminatory practices I didn’t even know existed…

The rooms were buzzing with ideas about how the NTCA can try to reduce and remove some of these barriers. My team and I have some serious thinking to do about how we can use our position to bring about some lasting change in the region.”  

The second stage of this research has involved speaking to employers in the region.  The mayor met with a range of employers from across the region and their insights and feedback were collected through online events and a survey.

Our research findings will be presented as part of a report, which we are completing in partnership with researchers at Durham University Business School.

If you have something you’d like to contribute or if you’d like to be added to our mail list to receive the final version of the report (expected in Spring 2024), please email emma.patterson@northoftyne-ca.gov.uk for an informal discussion.