Tees Valley Takes Lead on Careers in £24million Government Initiative

The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority are driving forward careers education in schools across the region by helping to deliver a £24million Government programme.

Preparing young people for the working world is a major strand of Opportunity North East, a Department for Education initiative to boost social mobility and raise aspirations for children.

Now £311,000 in funding has been awarded to deliver extra careers provision to 12 schools across the region, providing additional support to improve the outcomes for some of the region’s most difficult to reach pupils.

The funding, announced during National Careers Week, will be used to administer more intense, individually tailored, careers education and guidance and facilitate greater contact with employers to help pupils make the right career choices for them.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Good quality careers education is a topic I’m hugely passionate about, that’s why I launched my £3million TeesValleyCareers.com initiative to make sure pupils across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are learning about the great careers they can have right here in the region.

“By working with Government’s Opportunity North East scheme, we can provide more and improved careers education for our young people so that they really benefit from specific support in a more tailored manner sooner and faster. We can show them the full range of opportunities here, and prove you don’t need to leave the Tees Valley to have a successful career.”

Cllr Bob Cook, Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “Every young person across Tees Valley should be able to get off to a great start in the world of work, and they can only do this with the benefit of knowing exactly what jobs and industries and are open to them. We’ve proved we have a fantastic track record in working with businesses to deliver this, but taking the lead here means we can go further, delivering the personal touch for those who need it most.”

The new scheme builds on the £3million TeesValleyCareers.com initiative, launched by the Mayor in 2018. The scheme aims to link Tees Valley’s 100,000 young people with more than 1,000 businesses in the region to deliver meaningful engagements and top-quality careers education. To date, almost 900 businesses have signed up to TeesValleyCareers.com

The announcement came at the end of another successful National Careers Week in Tees Valley, including a number of events in schools and businesses across the region. TeesValleyCareers.com worked alongside pigment and additive company Venator for the firm’s STEM Fest 2020, which saw 160 Year 10 students from eight schools visit the business for sessions to inspire learning in science, technology, engineering and maths, and learn about career opportunities in the field.

The region has previously been praised for its work in careers education, with John Yarham, interim CEO for the Careers and Enterprise Company, stating he was “incredibly impressed with the vision and commitment to excellent careers education at all levels that has developed in Tees Valley”.