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As part of the #HomesAtTheHeart Prosperous Communities campaign, we have highlighted some of the ways we have been supporting young people to develop skills with Etc. and the Prince’s Trust.

North Star’s Partnership with Etc. (Education Training Collective) and the Prince’s Trust Team Programme they run has developed over a seven year period.

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is a 12 week personal development course for all young people aged 16 – 25 years. North Star support two community team programmes in Stockton and Darlington.

The programme is designed to build employability skills through experiential learning, opportunities to work with local businesses and contributing to local community causes.

Part of the programme involves the young people identifying and planning some community work for a local project. Once the team have planned and budgeted for their work, they present their findings to North Star staff. This Dragon’s Den style scenario simulates the conditions young people may find themselves in when giving a presentation during an interview or if required in any future employment.

North Star also undertake mock interviews with the Young People, giving them a live experience of what they can expect from the process and also the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on the skills and approaches they have learned.

The partnership also provides opportunities for North Star staff to meet the young people and take part in the presentations and interviews as volunteers. The opportunity to connect with the community in this way and develop skills through this work is invaluable to the organisation.

Furthermore, North Star has, in the past, successfully employed two young people from the Team programme in our apprenticeship scheme.

The team at Etc. and Prince’s Trust were recently won a Pearson National Teaching Awards Team of the Year Silver award. This fantastic achievement is testament to the fantastic impact they are having across the Tees Valley which North Star are proud to support.

Peter Locke, Head of Communities at North Star said: ‘Our partnership with the Prince’s Trust programmes is a true win-win that offers our staff fantastic opportunities to engage with our local community and the young