Tees Valley Mayor Praises “Hard Work and Dedication” of Interns

Mayor Ben Houchen has today (August 30) applauded the efforts of interns at the Tees Valley Combined Authority at the end of their three-week placements.

As part of the Mayor’s commitment to young people, their career choices and development, nine young people aged 17 to 22, from or studying in Tees Valley, were hired to join the organisation during the summer holidays.

The interns took up roles across different teams, as well as spending time working at Teesside International Airport and the South Tees Development Corporation to give them invaluable experience for their future careers.

They led on projects including a national and local education, employment and skills policy review, innovation schemes and identifying the impact of investments and job forecasting. The interns also worked with the transport, culture and finance teams, and on a project to help raise awareness of careers advice for young people and options for school-leavers in Tees Valley.

Since been elected in 2017 Mayor Houchen has supported the training of young people through apprenticeships and internships, with a number of previous interns securing full-time jobs within the organisation. All of the interns have been paid the Real Living Wage.

Mayor Houchen said: “Over the past three weeks I’ve seen first-hand the hard work and dedication of our interns. They have become valued members of the team and the work they have done will make a real difference in the Tees Valley.

“I talk a lot about how businesses in the region should be supporting the next generation of workers and helping our young people receive meaningful work experience. If we’re not leading from the front how can we expect others to follow suit?

“It’s been a real pleasure having our interns with us and I wish them every success in their future studies. I’m sure they’ll go far and be excellent ambassadors for the Tees Valley.”

Jed McGowan, 20, from Hartlepool, is reading Business with Financial Management at Northumbria University. He has worked within the finance teams at the Combined Authority, the South Tees Development Corporation and Teesside International Airport, alongside Lauren Johnstone-Phinn, 22, from Stockton, who is reading Accountancy and Finance at Teesside University.

Jed said: “One of our projects has been pulling together a report on the 10-year Investment Plan and how it’s progressing. The internship has been really good and we’ve done some very interesting work.”

Lauren added: “After university I want to go into management accountancy, ideally based in our region. This internship has validated that decision. It has given us all a deeper understanding of what the organisation does, including how much it works alongside the business community.”

Ella Brewster, 19, from Darlington applied for an internship with the Culture Team. The English Literature student, who will shortly return to her studies at Loughborough University, said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time here, particularly understanding what is happening in the cultural sector in the region and getting around Tees Valley to meet people and see the positive impact the Authority has had.”