North East housing providers awarded £1.2m to deliver employability support

Two employability projects led by Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) and Karbon Homes have been awarded a combined £1.2m of funding by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) as the lead authority. 

As the lead partners for Housing Employment Network North East (HENNE), YHN secured £651k funding for the BOOST (Build your Own Opportunities to Succeed and Thrive) programme and Karbon Homes £552k for the New Start programme. HENNE partners Bernicia, Home Group and Tyne Housing as well as North Tyneside Council form an integral part of the project delivery. The project will run until March 2025, and will enable the partnership to implement targeted initiatives and interventions to empower individuals who are economically inactive – meaning they are not in employment and are not actively seeking work – to transition into sustainable employment.

BOOST takes individuals on an action-focused tailored journey, understanding and addressing barriers that are preventing them from looking for work. It provides one-to-one holistic support, focusing on the person and their needs. New Start also forms part of the project, which creates tailored opportunities for candidates to get a foot in the door with the support of local businesses. Wraparound one-to-one support is provided throughout the placement from employment advisors and the chance to undertake qualifications.  

40% of social housing tenants in the North East are economically inactive compared to approximately 20% in other regions and this programme seeks to address their barriers to employment and economic inclusion. The partnership’s proactive approach provides tailored support and opportunities for individuals across the community to learn new skills and re-enter the workforce through the BOOST and New Start programmes.

Steve McKinlay, chair of HENNE’s board and chief executive of Tyne Housing, expressed his enthusiasm for the transformative potential of this funding: “This substantial investment from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund represents a significant milestone for the partnership and highlights our unwavering commitment to empower individuals and strengthen communities across the North East. 

“We collectively developed the BOOST model, rooted in social housing, it builds upon our current infrastructure and our extensive experience of working with this specific cohort. This funding will help to accelerate our efforts to support economically inactive individuals, unlock their potential and create pathways to meaningful employment.”

Speaking about this project Cllr Karen Kilgour, NTCA Cabinet Member for Education, Inclusion and Skills said: “This project recognises that by working in partnership with housing providers we can deliver a range of support which is flexible and tailored to individual needs. 

“This includes formal and informal learning, skills development, job preparation, and job brokerage.” 

“It’s a long-term approach focussed on improving people’s lives. This is central to our ambition to build an inclusive economy in the region.”

HENNE is a regional collaborative initiative between 12 North East housing providers. This significant funding will support the partnerships aim to bolster economic participation amongst economically inactive individuals residing in social housing across the North East. Research has highlighted that the number of barriers to gaining employment can be greater for people living in social housing. 

Through collaboration, partnership and development of practical solutions, HENNE has an unrivalled ability to reach and successfully work with a range of individuals, households and communities.

To find out more about BOOST please visit and for New Start please visit