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North Star welcomes residents of Darlington Housing Association - Find out more

North Star, a local housing association based in Stockton, invests in more than houses; they work closely with a range of organisations across the region to improve young people’s employability skills.

The housing provider works closely with many local organisations, schools, college and Universities to help provide valuable employment and training opportunities.

In 2013, North Star began working with Teesside University on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The KTP serves to meet a core strategic need and to identify innovative solutions to help businesses grow. The programme gives graduates the opportunity to apply their degree, start a real job straight away and gain a professional qualification.

Beth Danby is a Community Investment Officer at North Star, but started her journey on a 10 month project through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, with North Star and Teesside University. “The aim of my project was to implement and embed an impact measurement tool to measure the social value of North Star’s community investment activity.

“The KTP was a brilliant opportunity; it allowed me to work on a specific project for North Star, whilst also receiving support and expertise from Teesside University. I gained so much from completing this project and. I’m now a Community Investment Officer at North Star. Taking part in the KTP was a real stepping stone to help advance my career.”

North Star strongly believe bright and talented young people are vital to the long-term success and sustainability of the Tees Valley economy and work closely with schools to invest in young people’s futures.

The housing association became involved with the Outwood Grange Academy Trust’s (OGAT) Future Generation Project, a programme designed to raise the aspirations of young people across the Tees Valley, giving them the the chance to work directly with a range of local employers.  The project allows students to experience a range of job roles from a wide variety of sectors, really opening their eyes to the exciting opportunities available throughout the region.

Staff at North Star visited several of the OGAT schools across the Tees Valley, sharing their career journeys, introducing students to the careers available in the housing sector, and crucially offering advice on how they can move forward with their own career journeys.

Ralph Pickles, Chair of Governors at Outwood Academy, Acklam, said: “North Star have made a very valuable contribution to the Future Generation Project and given meaningful experiences to many students across the Tees Valley. Feedback from both students and employers has been excellent. Our ambition is to roll out Future Generation across all Tees Valley schools to create a stronger and better equipped workforce for the future and for our region.”