Through a number of Area Action Partnerships (AAPs), and in some instances, support from Livin, funding has been secured to help unemployed people (aged 16+), who reside in specific geographical areas, (detailed below), to move closer to, or into employment, further training or volunteering.
In addition, funding has been secured to help employed people in low paid jobs to move up the career ladder, and/or change direction in a new sector.
These projects are managed by Bishop Auckland College.
- Bishop Auckland & Shildon
- Great Aycliffe & Middridge
The funds are:
- Employability Skills Fund aimed at responding to specific training needs, where there is no mainstream funding available, for example, fork lift truck training, tiling, plumbing and plastering, security training etc.
- Upskilling Fund, aimed at responding to specific training needs, where there is no mainstream funding available to upskill and acquire skills/qualification to be able to change career, direction or gain additional work in a new sector.
- Discretionary Fund aimed at removing barriers, for example, travel, childcare, resources that prevent clients from accessing training.
The amount of funding that can be applied for is capped at £1,000
A funding application is completed on behalf of the applicant, processed and emailed to an expert panel, who provide an objective assessment when making decisions on the application. Evidence of job opportunities have to be provided to support the training requested. Confidentiality is maintained at all times.
The Project Officer, would liaise with the applicant and training provider, to arrange dates for the approved training.
Part of the eligibility process is the completion of a Monitoring Form, as the project has to account for the funding allocated by collecting data regarding the outcomes of individuals who have benefitted from receiving funding, and report back to the awarding body.
Applications submitted with regard to self-employment, has to be supported by a Business Plan. South Durham Enterprise Agency, based at South Church Enterprise Park, Bishop Auckland, can provide support aimed at helping one plan, set up and run their own business in South Durham.
Bishop Auckland & Shildon
Ronald Andrews was unemployed, after being made redundant, and had just relocated up to the North East from Lincolnshire. He was determined to gain employment but finances were an issue to complete relevant training, to secure available jobs. Ron said "thankfully through the BASH funding, I was able to undertake fork lift truck training, and secure relevant qualifications. I completed the training with Forklift Truck Academy, Seaham, and Scott Court and his team were brilliant and would highly recommend them, without hesitation. This training has assisted me tremendously in my current employment. I am very grateful, to say the least, for the assistance I have received. This included Bishop Auckland College, National Career Service, Funding Provider, Course Tutors etc. I'm very happy working for my employer and can actually see myself retiring there. Again, much appreciation for the assistance, support and funding provided".
Kevin Dixon was working on a low income and found it difficult to manage financially, as between himself and his wife they have four children, and not in receipt of any benefits. He had experience in rebuilding trucks and manoeuvring them on private property, but held no licence. He wanted to gain his Class 2 licence and already showed commitment by self-funding his medical and personal driving licence. He secured funding and successfully completed his training.
Kevin said “I'd like to thank Denise from Bishop Auckland College and the AAP for funds, for assisting me in gaining upskilling training to obtain my Large Goods Vehicle licence. One phone call and a meeting the same day and the process was underway! Within days I had the good news that my funding was granted ( I was overjoyed as having always worked upskilling funding was never readily available to me ). I have since completed my training with Twinway LGV Driver Training and qualified as an LGV 2 Driver. Having gained my qualification, I have now started part time work with J.L Vietch Caravan Haulage providing me with valuable experience to hopefully make the full time move into the transport industry in the near future. Targets for the future include expanding the scope of my abilities to include vehicle mounted crane operation, ADR (Transportation of Hazardous Goods) training and obtaining my LGV 1 licence (articulated)”.
Great Aycliffe & Middridge
I had wanted to run my own business and to work with dogs since leaving school, so i went to college to study business and started to volunteer at a local kennel helping out with the dogs and also got an introduction into dog grooming.
It was at this time that i decided i wanted to run my own dog grooming business. There are many dog groomers that do not have any professional qualifications but i felt that if you want to stand out and succeed in this business then you need to have the right skills and qualifications. This was when i approached GAMP to help out with funding for the NVQ level 3 as the training course was quite expensive. The funds from GAMP helped me to receive the best training possible, from the winner of Crufts 2016!
I found the process of applying for funds really straight forward and it has, without a doubt helped me to where I am today. With a little help from my parents along the way, i now have my own premises and a large, regular client base which is growing by the day.
Spennymoor Employability Skills and Discretionary Fund, managed by Bishop Auckland College, provided funding for Andrew Potelle to obtain his Door Supervisor and CCTV licences, which allowed him to legally work in the Private Security Industry in the United Kingdom.
Andrew was successful in securing employment with Newgate Shopping Centre, in Bishop Auckland, and is thoroughly enjoyed the job. The job involves ensuring the safety and security of staff and customers within the Centre.
Andrew said that the processes ran very smoothly and was handled quickly and effectively. He couldn’t praise the project enough and would encourage other people to apply as it can make a huge difference to one’s life.
Dave Wilson, Centre Manager, said Andrew uses his initiative, and is a great asset to the team. He is very responsive to staff and customer needs and has excellent customer service skills.
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