Empowering confidence and skills for Jobseekers

Self Employment Support

Our accredited courses are designed to help customers explore if self employment is a viable option for them and their current circumstances. Topics include:

  • How to ask for help and explore business networking
  • What are the risks in starting a business 
  • What skills are needed to startup

Once ready and wanting to take their business ideas forward, we will then signpost them to specialist business support. If they decide starting a business isn't right, the qualification will help secure work. At every point in the journey we keep you updated and share progress.

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A bit unsure?

Alongside self employment support, we also work with people who just aren't sure what they want to do, what they are passionate about or how they can apply skills in a profession.  

Confidence, motivation and mental health might be low, matched with barriers such as financial, family or location that mean customers struggle to find decent work.  

If this sounds like someone you are working with, then please get in touch, we have free courses, events and activities happening across the North East.


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Work placements

Working alongside employment agencies and education, we can provide meaningful work placements for jobseekers who are unsure of the work they want to do. 

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refugee enterprise delivery

Creating bespoke activities

Based on your themes, desired outcomes and funding requirements, we can add value to your current programmes or develop new ideas in partnership. 

When you work with FIRST you get the full team's expertise, delivery and commitment to quality for your customers and and you as our clients.

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Meet the Team

Charlotte Windebank

As FIRST’s Managing Director, Charlotte is responsible for development, vision and quality. She supports the operations and communication managers and ensures all company outputs are aligned to objectives, values, and mission. Alongside her role as director, Charlotte is an advocate for social and structural change within entrepreneurship and is regularly invited to speak about research, innovations and positive actions towards increased inclusivity and empowerment for early stage founders, young people and junior staff.

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Sam Gallilee

Sam has 20 years experience working across the education and youth sector for school trusts, local councils and national charities. Sam’s passion and experience ensures all of FIRST’s projects create meaningful outcomes whilst supporting the team to ensure they have the resources they need to deliver their projects to the highest quality standards.

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Ellie Short

Ellie works on assessment, pastoral care and coordinates all of FIRST's educational contracts to ensure learners develop essential skills and gain valuable experiences when working with us. She is passionate about inclusive education and loves a challenge!

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Masud Raja

Masud's role is to share our enterprise and entrepreneurial opportunities with stakeholders including learners, partners and clients. As an innovating 'intrepreneur' Masud works with the learning/development and communications team to empower communities to develop confidence, leadership and progression skills.

Jack Havver

Jack works across our projects to support FIRST's community of learners, making sure they are comfortable and can fully participate in our courses workshops and events. Jack loves helping people and watching their courage and skills grow as a result of developing enterprise skills.

Oliver Leach

Olly works with all learners to share information about our courses, events and opportunities. He is brilliant at supporting learners with their options and loves to see the people he has worked with go onto achieve great things.

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Julianne Percival

Sam Clegg

Samuel Clegg is an advocate for entrepreneurship, business and innovation, and is highly passionate about supporting and helping others in their business journeys. He is a business owner, advisor, academic, and published researcher with over 10 years’ experience within the SME and Startup profession. Sam works as a tutor for our enterprise courses and brings energy, passion and first hand knowledge of what it's like to run a business.

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Nina Raja

As a creative entrepreneur and teacher, Nina's skill set is in engagement and accessibility of our enterprise qualifications. She brings charisma, vibrancy and uses her creative eye to innovate within courses and workshops to ensure they are fun and interactive for learners.

Lord Simon Jacobs

Simon is a caring, innovative and people focused entrepreneur who works with learners to refine their business thoughts and build confidence/self belief. He is a creative, unusual and inspiring tutor, instilling a can do attitude whilst challenging learners to think outside the box.

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FIRST are always on the look at for talented, training associates to join our team. For more information email hello@youarefirst.co.uk

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