The doors to a dream job have been opened for one North East man after being given the opportunity to gain vital life skills as part of a pilot work experience programme with Royal Mail.
John Hedley, 21 from Kenton Bar, has now joined the team at Your Homes Newcastle on a housing apprenticeship after participating in the pilot scheme organised by Generation NE in conjunction with Royal Mail and brokered with the support of Helen Rutherford, Business Connector for Newcastle.
As part of the bespoke work experience programme John was one of four young people to gain new skills and learn about Royal Mail’s working and recruitment process to help enhance their opportunities to secure employment in the future.
During his time at Royal Mail’s Gosforth Delivery Office, John was mentored by postal workers as he prepped mail arriving for dispatch and completed delivery walks in and around Gosforth. John was also able to participate in a mock interview to further aid his personal development.
As a result of the skills he gained and the support given to John by Generation NE during the placement, he has now secured an apprenticeship with Your Homes Newcastle.
He said: “The opportunity at Royal Mail via Generation NE was fantastic and I really enjoyed working there – the staff were very supportive and I worked really hard, which helped me to get my apprenticeship at Your Homes Newcastle. I applied for the apprenticeship because it’s the first step to a successful career and helps you build up skills and experience which employers won’t take you on without.
“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship because it’s helping me to build knowledge, skills and experience and because I work with an excellent team who support me in every way possible. Other staff around the Your Homes Newcastle business are always there to help and support me too.”
Graeme Miller, Royal Mail Delivery Office Manager at Gosforth, added: “As part of our commitment to supporting local communities we welcomed John as part of a group of young people on a bespoke quality work experience package designed to improve their chances of a successful job application, either with Royal Mail in the future or to move into alternative employment.
“Over the course of the programme we saw a real change in all of the young people involved as they enhanced their existing skillset and their interpersonal skills. It is wonderful to see John go on and start his apprenticeship with Your Homes Newcastle.”
Generation NE is a landmark youth employment programme in the North East that is working with local businesses to connect with the next generation of employees to future-proof their workforce and enhance their business offering, whilst providing young people with valuable work experience and employment.
The £4.5 million programme is a collaboration between five local authorities, including Newcastle, Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside and Northumberland, and the North East LEP.
Councillor Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development at Newcastle City Council, added: “Generation NE is working with the region’s businesses and young people in the North East to stimulate growth and boost the local economy.
“John is a fantastic example of how this innovative youth employment programme is making a real difference in the North East and is helping young people to secure employment, while giving businesses the opportunity to grow.”
Following the success of the Royal Mail work experience pilot programme, Generation NE is now recruiting for a second group of young people to participate in a second cohort based at the Gosforth Delivery Office this autumn. To apply for the programme young people should contact Business Advisor Donna Barker on 0191 230 0491