A NEW partnership between several organisations is helping to connect Northumberland residents seeking work with job vaccancies.

The National Careers Service has joined with the Department for Work and Pensions, Northumberland County Council and Advance Northumberland to help those whose careers have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Coun. Richard Wearmouth, cabinet member for economic development at Northumberland County Council and chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “There has never been such an important time for supporting people to stay in or get back into work.

“This excellent initiative by the National Careers Service working with other agencies and with employers who have vacancies will help to match them up with people who have the right skills and experience.

“In addition, where further skills are needed NCS can guide people towards the right training or advice.”

Employers who have vaccines are encouraged to contact the NCS, while residents can contact the helpline for free, impartial and expert careers advice.

The service is part of a range of support being offered to businesses and residents by Northumberland County Council and Advance Northumberland through the Northumberland Business Hub.

The county council has also established a new employment support service, funded through the North of Tyne Capacity Fund.

Three employment link workers are available now to give people advice and guidance that is tailored to their own circumstances and is right for their individual needs.

They will take calls, discuss options, and can refer callers to the right support programme to help them get back into work.

Gillian Campbell, triage lead officer in the employability and skills rapid response team explained how the new service will work.

She said: “The new team is ready and able to provide support to anyone who needs it.

“We can offer advice as well as access to a number of employment and skills programmes to help people get into work.

“This could include helping to gain the skills and experience that employers are looking for and working with local businesses and organisations to match people with vacancies.

"We could even look for suitable work experience to help a move into a different type of work.”

Coun. Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member with responsibility for employability and skills at Northumberland County Council, acknowledged that it was a difficult time for many who had lost their jobs.

He said: “We know that many people are concerned for their employment due to the impact of Covid-19, and some have already lost their jobs.

“As a council we are doing everything that we can to support people through this extremely difficult time.

"This employment support programme is for anyone who has lost their job, or is concerned for their future employment. I would urge anyone in this position to get in touch with the service, so that we can provide help and support.”

Anyone in need of support can call 0808 196 3936 or by email to employmentandtraining@northumberland.gov.uk