FOUNDATION for Jobs needs your vote after being shortlisted for support from a new fund designed to boost skills and increase opportunities for young people.

The national award winning partnership to tackle youth employment issues has been shortlisted after applying for a £25,000 grant from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Skills & Opportunities Fund.

If successful the money will enable Foundation for Jobs, which has worked with almost 5,000 young people in Darlington since it was launched three years ago, to carry out even more activities with young people between now and 2017.

The shortlisted bids receiving funding will partly be decided by a public vote being carried out this week only. 

You can vote for Foundation for Jobs by visiting:

and ticking The Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College box.  

Royal Bank of Scotland launched the new fund in May with £2.5m available for 2015. In order to focus on the different priorities in different areas the country has been split into seven regions each with their own decision making board.

Richard Topliss, chairman of the North board, said: “In the North we’re keen to fund projects that will leave a lasting legacy and deliver a measurable social impact on youth unemployment, start-up survival rates or rural poverty.”

Foundation for Jobs submitted its bid in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College whose principal Tim Fisher sits on the project’s board.

Mr Fisher said: “The Foundation for Jobs has made a positive impact upon the aspirations and futures of a huge number of Darlington’s young people.

“Its work so far is testament to what can be achieved by working together. I urge people to vote for the Foundation for Jobs to help generate more great outcomes for the young people of Darlington.”

Foundation for Jobs, which launched in 2012, runs activities for young people from the ages of 10 to 24 aimed at giving them the best chance of securing careers in the North-East’s key employment sectors.

Since the project was started by The Northern Echo, Darlington Borough Council and The Darlington Partnership work by Foundation for Jobs and its partners has resulted in 443 new apprenticeship places being created, the majority of which were at small firms which hadn’t recruited apprentices before.

In addition 509 young people have been able to benefit from work experience or internships at businesses in Darlington and the surrounding area.

A key aim of Foundation for Jobs was to work with children before they had left education, with 3795 pupils at Darlington schools taking part in activities which bring them into contact with employers.

It has been proven that young people who have contact with industry while at school are up to five times less likely to be unemployed at the age of 25.

Amongst the new activities launched in the third year of the project more than 200 students from Darlington schools and colleges were given a hands on introduction to the North-East’s rapidly expanding subsea engineering sector by building their own deep-water robot kits, while existing projects introducing pupils to low carbon engineering or building hovercraft also engaged more than 200 pupils.

The campaign has also worked in partnership with Teesside University and Digital City to run computer coding up-skilling sessions for teachers, and in July will hold its first bioscience event for schools, which is intended to tie in with the companies that will launch as a result of the development of a new National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington.

Foundation for Jobs core funding is met by the County Durham Community Foundation and the 11-19 Partnership of schools in Darlington.