Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen with Paul Chambers, who benefited from the Routes to Work scheme, at the Teesworks site
Chloe Shakesby

Tees Valley Mayor expands employment programme with £900k boost

A programme which helps unemployed people get back into work has expanded following a nearly £1m boost from the Tees Valley Mayor.

The £7.5m Routes to Work Scheme, which has helped 573 unemployed over-30s get back into jobs, has now been expanded to cover anyone aged 16 and above.

The pilot was due to begin winding down from September 2021, but Mayor Ben Houchen has pledged an additional £900k worth of funding to keep the scheme fully operational until March 2022.

Mayor Ben Houchen commented: “Our Routes to Work scheme has been a huge success and has already smashed all targets and expectations, engaging with almost 3,000 people and getting 573 back into work.

“Routes to Work does a fantastic job of targeting people who need help most, giving hundreds of people the self-belief, skills and training they need to get back into work and have a rewarding career, which is more important than ever before as we continue to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“My absolute priority is to support people and businesses through this difficult time, which is why I’m pleased to be able to expand the scheme to all ages, so we can support even more people and get them into good quality, well paid, local jobs – a key part of my plan for jobs.

“Whether through Routes to Work, the government’s Kickstart Scheme or my Emergency Apprenticeship Fund, we’re making no one in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool is left behind.”

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