Big changes start locally

South Tyneside TEN


With over 22 years’ experience, South Tyneside Training and Enterprise Network Ltd (STEN) is the leading not-for-profit, independent employment organisation in South Tyneside helping unemployed residents make informed choices on training, learning and employment.

Unemployment amongst young people in South Tyneside rose during the recession and remains stubbornly high. The majority of young people STEN supports have low skills, poor levels of numeracy and literacy, low aspirations and little motivation. Some of the young people come from families with four generations of unemployment.

STEN has shown that intensive one-to-one coaching is effective at bringing out the skills young people have and building on them to achieve positive employment outcomes. Young people are supported through confidence building courses, reading and writing and then move onto vocational training programmes and apprenticeship schemes.

During 2016 STEN, through their Virgin Money Foundation funded employability programme, worked with 85 young people, helping over 40 of them find and sustain a job. We have awarded them a second grant to build on their success and work with more unemployed young people in South Tyneside.

Throughout 2016 STEN has benefited from support from Virgin Money volunteers. Graham Cole, a commercial specialist, has brought his expertise to their project management group and has helped them to identify new premises.

Young people from STEN also attended Virgin Money’s first mini Strive2Thrive programme. Ten young people were invited to Virgin Money’s offices in Gosforth for a day to prepare them for the world of work.

Hazel, Chief Executive of STEN said:

“In all my years working alongside sponsors, I have never known any other organisation to care so much about the charities it helps. Virgin Money Foundation’s support goes beyond that of funding.

Graham has brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to our working group. This showcases how the private sector can have positive impact in supporting the voluntary community and social enterprise sector.

It has also introduced initiatives such as bringing unemployed individuals into the workplace and showing them what it is like to be in employment in order to build their confidence and raise their aspirations.”

You can find out more about South Tyneside TEN via their website.

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