A PARTNERSHIP aimed at supporting disabled and neurodivergent people into employment has been hailed a success.

Diversity NE, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and European Social Fund, has been delivered by North East Autism Society (NEAS) and Azure Charitable Enterprises.

The employability scheme is aimed primarily at people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent people, helping people into work, while also supporting routes into education and training.

The initial target was to support 233 clients, but the actual figure is 278. That includes 45 unemployed people becoming employed, and 55 being placed in education and training. In addition, out of 52 previously economically inactive people, 21 have gained employment and 31 have been given the skills and confidence to actively look for work.

The partnership was forged after Tracey met Derek Groves, Employment Services Manager for the Employment Futures department at NEAS. It was agreed to propose a joint initiative across three authorities: Northumberland, Newcastle, and North Tyneside.

“We’re so proud of what’s been achieved because we’ve exceeded every target, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The success of Diversity NE has inspired the launch of a second partnership between NEAS and Azure Charitable Enterprises.

They will now work together on Progress NE, a programme focused exclusively on economically inactive clients. Funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund until March 2025. It was given a soft launch in October.