Help for students

Stephen Catchpole
Stephen Catchpole

MILLIONS of pounds of help is on the way for Tees Valley’s A-level and GCSE students.

Tees Valley Unlimited has clinched funds through the Regional Growth Fund for the development of a flexible skills and apprenticeship programme.

TVU managing director Stephen Catchpole said: “Getting young people to be able to fulfil their potential remains a big issue for us in the Tees Valley.”

He said the agency was “determined that as much as possible is done to make sure that young people, upon whom the area’s future prosperity depends, are given the skills, confidence and knowledge to reach this full potential.”

He said the programme would “provide a pathway for both young and older workers to access new employment opportunities.”

But that is not the only help for students.

TVU has also secured £12m through the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative for young people up to 25 to be offered either a job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.

Determined bosses at TVU have announced a third source of help, this time for students who have just received their GCSE results.

“They are being directed to the Skills Portal on our website, where there is a wealth of information about the different directions they could take,” said Mr Catchpole.

“This includes information on careers, vacancies, getting experience through volunteering, education courses, apprenticeships and sources of funding.”

Hartlepool will also play its part in the future for young adults.

The TVU Tees Valley Skills event will be held on November 7 at the Sports Domes in Hartlepool.

“Learners, parents and young people can access a wealth of information about the diverse and exciting careers that are available right here in Tees Valley,” said Mr Catchpole.

But he sounded a note of caution.

“Youth unemployment will not disappear overnight,” he said. But he said TVU could make “a meaningful impact.”

To access the Skills Portal and find out more about Tees Valley Skills, visit