Improving skills in Northumberland

Northumberland CVA received funding from the Trust in late 2020 to help support the people in their community with their employability skills. Not only did their “SkillsUNeed” project help Graham gain employment, it also helped Phillip regain his confidence in getting out and about after lockdown.

Graham’s Story

Graham attended the CRT funded employability training course for 3 sessions, from 16th May 2021. He was eager to engage from day one. He had a very positive attitude and was determined to gain employment.

During his time on the course Graham updated his CV, compiled a cover letter, and organised his certificates into date order. He participated well in all of our sessions, always completed a job search and applied for suitable positions.

He was overjoyed when he was asked to complete a 3 day work trial to see if he was a suitable candidate for a vacant position! As a result of the work trial he secured the full time position with an immediate start and left on week 3 of the course. 

Graham said:

“The SkillsUNeed course did the world of good for me. Before this, I was out of work for 18 months and I am so pleased I spotted the course advertised on Facebook. I wouldn’t be where I am now without it. The course was really good for me and built up my confidence as a person.

Michelle (SkillsUNeed Course Lead) and Sarah (Support Worker) have both been great and I always had 1-1 support when needed whilst also getting on well with others in the group. I’m now in a full-time role at a busy bar/restaurant and am really enjoying it!”

Phillip Cropped

Phillip’s Story

Phillip attended all 6 weeks of the training and we watched his confidence grow with each week, with him eventually feeling confident enough to start applying for work by the time the course had finished. 

We encouraged him to look at volunteering work to broaden his skills and experience and we arranged an appointment for him to attend Scope in Ashington where he started volunteering as a retail assistant.

We also encouraged him to participate in community events over volunteer’s week and he took part in a local litter pick at the QE Park in Ashington. Phillip also attended an event in Ashington where he had the opportunity to meet other volunteers at the Full Circle Food a project which looks at healthy eating and growing your own food.

Phillip Said:

“SkillsUNeed was great in making me feel comfortable about being out of the house again after my confidence was affected by the pandemic. The course in general was really good and helped me get back to a bit of normality.

Michelle was really welcoming and gave everyone in the group attention and 1-1 support when needed. We covered a range of different topics including job searching and anything that we required guidance with, including some helpful guest speakers. I found the session covering interview skills useful for the future.”

For more information about the work of Northumberland CVA go to

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