A YOUTH employment service delivered by our Employment Futures provision has hosted a special celebration event to mark the success of its first intake of participants.

Young people, their families, employers and NEAS staff were invited to The Common Room in Newcastle on Wednesday 23rd February, to mark the success of the first Youth Employment Service NE (YESNE) cohort.

YESNE is a 16-week programme aimed at helping autistic and neurodivergent 18 to 24-year-olds boost their confidence and improve their skills by gaining real-life experience of workplaces and taking part in weekly workshops with our team of employment specialists.

A total of nine young people enrolled on the first cohort of YESNE and, following the conclusion of the first 16-week course, 55 per cent of them have now moved into further education, training or paid employment.

“It’s great that so many of our participants have been able to take the next steps in their journey to employment,” Philip Nicholson, Employment Specialist, says.

"However every single one of the young people who took part in YESNE said they have noticed an improvement in self-development, have a better understanding of their career options, and feel more able to manage their anxieties – and for us, as course mentors, those things are just as crucial.”

Participants also showed off some of the work that they completed as part of the programme, as each group was tasked with working together to complete a group project based around employment.

The Sunderland group researched industry and employment history on Wearside and designed video game characters based on their findings, which were brought to life by New Enterprise Studios.

While the North Shields group built a website which looked back at the industrial history of the North Tyneside area. The exhibition featuring displays of both groups’ work will be open to the public from February 24th to 26th.

Mary Murton, Employment Specialist at YESNE, said the event was an important milestone for the programme participants.

“The event was important because the project explored not only the creative talents of the group but our local North-east heritage,” Mary says. “It was key to celebrate the success of the cohort as they have all gained skills which will enable them to move forward in the working world. 

“The project is also something they can take pride in and we wanted to showcase their achievements.”

Find out more about YESNE