A fund which finances training for unemployed people in Newton Aycliffe and Middridge to enable them to find work is celebrating supporting the 100th person into employment.
The Employability Skills and Discretionary Fund is the biggest project to date for Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (GAMP) and has seen cash spent on both an Employability Skills Fund that can respond to specific training needs and a Discretionary Fund, which removes barriers that prevent people from accessing training.
The fund is managed on GAMP’s behalf by Bishop Auckland College.
Success stories include Ting Zhao
Ting has lived in England for 5 years; she was educated in China and South Africa and worked in China for an International Accountancy Organisation.  She was looking to gain qualifications that were recognised in the UK and improve her skills. With the help of GAMP funding, Ting enrolled on a SAGE course and a course to improve both her literacy and numeracy skills, as she was conscious that she lacked formal qualifications.
Ting’s children are now in full time education, which allowed Ting to progress in enhancing her employment potential. She has proven to be very active in moving forward with her newfound skills. She has gained employment as a lunch time assistant at Woodham Academy and also volunteers there, helping children with their Maths and English homework.
Ting is also undertaking a Teacher’s Assistant Course and has a placement at Vane Road Primary School.  When she has completed the course, she is hoping to get a job at either Woodham Academy or Vane Road Primary School.
Ting is also active in making a positive contribution to her community and teaches Chinese at the Sunday school.
She thanked the National Careers Service and GAMP for their help and support in helping her move forward.
Brian Riley, GAMP Coordinator, said; “This project is unique to the GAMP area and brings together a wide range of partners to address barriers to employment.  We are encouraging unemployed people from Newton Aycliffe and Middridge who think they could obtain work through specific training to apply to the fund”.
Anyone who is unemployed and from Newton Aycliffe or Middridge, can contact Denise Hopps at Bishop Auckland College for further information via: denise.hopps@bacoll.ac.uk   or on (01388 443078)