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North Star Housing Group is helping young people across the North East find jobs through their New Directions Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).
New Directions is a European funded project designed to support young people aged 15-29 years into employment, education and training, providing support with CV building, interview preparation and providing funding where necessary.
Zoe James, 25, from Darlington was struggling with her confidence and finding full-time employment. Zoe was unaware of any services that would be available to support her, until she found North Star’s New Directions team.
Zoe received dedicated, personalised support with confidence building, searching and applying for jobs, and intensive career guidance.
Since taking part in the YEI programme, Zoe has begun working self-employed for Ascot Care Agency as a Marketing Assistant, supporting their print literature and writing website content.
Zoe also gained work experience with North Star through the YEI programme, working with the Communications team and gained a great deal from this: “The work experience helped fill in the gaps I had in my marketing portfolio and I gained great first-hand experience what it’s like to work in public relations. The two days were fantastic, and being in a lively and friendly office space gave me the confirmation and confidence I needed to know where I want to head with my career.
“Being on the YEI Programme has built my confidence in applying for jobs. A challenge I faced was whether to accept a role that as self-employed. Having no experience or knowledge on self-employment, and not knowing if it was the right path for me, I contacted Coral, from the New Directions team, and she supported me in finding out information and helping me weigh up my options. I accepted the role, knowing it was another step towards my future career and knowing I had Coral there to talk to if I had any questions. I have been able to have a helping hand with job applications too; Coral has been a second pair of eyes on personal statements and made sure I have included every detail, leading to interviews.
“My experience on the YEI Programme has built my self-confidence and given me the extra support I’ve needed. I’m not made to feel like a number; every team member on the YEI Programme is friendly and welcoming and each session I have with Coral is personalised and suited to where I am at in my job search. I know that whatever queries I have, Coral will be there to advice and help.
Coral and the team on the YEI Programme have given me the boost I needed to help me with both my confidence and career.”
Coral Smith, Youth Employment Initiative Caseworker at North Star, worked closely with Zoe and is thrilled with the progress she has made: “Zoe has come such a long way, embracing new challenges, building her confidence and exploring new possibilities to push her forward in her career journey.
“I supported Zoe with her job applications and we looked at a range of employment options to broaden Zoe’s skills and experiences. Zoe now has the tools and the confidence to progress even further on her career path.”