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Give Us The Tools

A new survey has shown that unemployed residents on a South Shields estate have the skills and commitment to be successful in work - they just need the chance of a start.

A recent skills audit carried out by the Council's Neighbourhood Services Directorate identified many local people on the Cleadon Park Estate with skills and experience in various trades who were keen to get into work and training.

The survey was part of the regeneration efforts on the estate which was carried out to help ensure that as many local people as possible are able to access job opportunities as part of the redevelopment of the estate.

Names have been identified of people who will be put forward for offers of training and work when construction of new housing and community facilities gets underway. Already four people have attended an 'Into Construction' training course organised by the Council's Economic Development Team, and more opportunities are in the pipeline.

Frank Coverdale, Housing Policy Manager for South Tyneside Council says: "We have always believed that regeneration is about more than bricks and mortar. To really improve an area you need to give people the chance of work - especially if they can work improving things for their own community and gain pride from the job. This survey, funded by the Government's Single Regeneration Budget, will help make sure we can get as many residents of Cleadon Park Estate into work and training as possible, to help create a sustainable future for the community."

One local resident is already showing the way. Mark Punshon of Ashgrove Avenue was recruited by G Rowntree Electrics under the New Deal 25+ as an electrician's mate. Mr Rowntree is delighted with his new recruit, identified following a recommendation on behalf of people on the estate by a local Councillor Jim Foreman.

Councillor Foreman says: "The skills audit backs up what people on the estate have said all along - there are people looking for work who just need an opportunity to get a first step on the ladder."

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