MORE than 200 young people were helped into work last year though an employment initiative.

The Darlington Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) programme had its most successful year to date last year and is hoping to help a further 50 people find jobs in the first three months of this year.

The team, which is part of Darlington Borough Council, is based at Pathfinder House, in Northgate.

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The YEI programme supports young people aged 16-29 who are not in education or employment to move into training and work, giving them a helping hand to secure more permanent work in the future.

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration said: “This is brilliant news for the young people involved and for Darlington. A thriving economy depends on a well trained and dedicated workforce and this scheme, and the wonderful team who deliver it, helps to provide this.

"There are many opportunities for work in our area and our YEI team will help to ensure that local people are well placed to take advantage of what’s on offer.

“I am over the moon that our Darlington based team has achieved such fantastic success and is the best in the region.”

In 2021 the team had 240 young people who joined the programme, and helped 258 people find a job or get into education, while 111 were in work or training after a six month period.

Since it was set up in 2016, the Darlington YEI team has had 872 people start with the programme, recording 791 positive outcomes of a job or full-time education and 379 people who were still in work or education six months after leaving.

Councillor Jon Clarke, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for young people said: “Finding work and training opportunities for young people is crucial, not just for our thriving local economy, but for the wellbeing and self esteem of those involved. I am delighted that the YEI scheme has helped hundreds of our young people onto the path towards a fulfilling career and education journey.

“Well done to Steven Winterburn and the YEI team who have worked hard to adjust to new ways of working as well as moving offices whilst continuing to deliver and improve on results that will have a direct impact on the lives and the future of your young people.”

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