GET STARTED - February 2021

FIRST of all, let us just take a moment to welcome you back to the February edition of GET STARTED where we have handpicked what we consider to be exciting opportunities for you to find work, skill up and crack on with some personal development.

Our theme this month is Planning and Management and so we've got some top tips on how you can successfully plan and manage the year ahead. Sadly we are still in the much needed lockdown 3.0 - however we have still managed to find you some opportunities you may wish to consider, including a job with us here at FIRST


We've got an exciting opportunity for a self-motivated and driven individual with a proven track record with networking and relationship management to join the team here at FIRST.

The successful candidate will be joining us as our Participant and Engagement Coordinator and will be responsible for the recruitment, engagement and after care support of participants, learners and businesses across the full range of programmes FIRST offer. 

The role will also include some elements of programme delivery support within the education and business programmes and will involve working closely with external associates and agencies. 

So if you're looking for a new challenge in 2021 then why not consider joining our ever growing team?

The deadline to apply is Monday the 22nd of February, and the starting salary is £22,000 - £26,000 depending on experience.

Click here to find out more.


Level 1 in Understanding Enterprise

Very much following the theme of telling you about exciting things to do with us here at FIRST, we are currently recruiting for our next cohort of budding entrepreneurs or those looking to develop new skills for our level 1 Award in Understanding Enterprise.

Due to start in March, the course is FREE for all residents of North and South Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland aged 19 and over. As part of the course, which is delivered four hours a week for eight weeks via Zoom, you will receive one to one support as well as focus on key areas for new and soon to be business ideas. Not only that but you'll begin to develop the all important networks you need with local businesses.

We've had great feedback so far, and so there is no time like the present to dive right in and take those first positive steps towards doing your own thing.

You can find out more here.

Pro-Active Training – Construction Courses

Are you interested in the construction industry, but not sure which sector of the industry you’d like to work in?

The Construction study programme is suitable for young people aged 16-18 who are interested in taking the first step towards a career in the construction industry.

As part of the 12 week course you’ll learn the importance of time-keeping, standards, health and safety and many other transferable skills.

You’ll also be invited to interview, with the prospect of a paid apprenticeship upon successful completion of the course – which sounds like a win-win!

Visit the Pro-Active Training site to find out more.

Newcastle United Foundation

The Newcastle United Foundation is the charity arm of Newcastle United Football Club and their aim is to get the club into the community, using the local passion for football to make a difference.

The NU Foundation have a wide range of free programmes available to help you get where you need to be, including some focused on your employability. It’s important to note that not all of these will be running currently, but well worth checking them out for when restrictions start to get lifted.

You can find out more about their employability programmes here.

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near one.” - J.R.R.TOLKIEN


‘Planning and Management’ is one of the fifteen EntreComp competencies and can be characterised as ‘knowing and defining your priorities and setting short, medium and long-term goals. Also being willing to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.’ 

So, after working on setting our Vision for 2021 last month, let's crack on with planning and managing the year ahead!

It’s Valentine’s Day this month and so for many of you that have had the misfortunate of using a dating app will know, sometimes you just get a ‘Hey’ or a copy and paste message which they think will be funny but actually we know they’ve sent it to five other people already.

We want some originality! We want somebody that has read our bio! We want somebody that cares!

Well applying for a job is very much the same. Think about the jobs you are applying to – have you done your research on their mission, vision, and values? Could you reach out in an authentic way on LinkedIn?

When applying for jobs don’t just make it about you and your skills, but them too – why are you right for their organisation?

Managing Your Time

You might think you need to apply for every job you see, and to constantly plugging away at getting application after application in. But you also know, that each application needs to be tailored just for the job – well don’t make it difficult for yourself and start thinking about how best to manage your time.

Set yourself a realistic goal of something like only 10 applications a week, that’s two a day with the weekend off (because we all deserve a break). Doing this allows you to give each application the time it deserves, helping you to stand out all the more and showcase yourself as the perfect candidate – bagging that all important interview!

Plan for the Future

If anyone has ever tried to write a novel you may understand what I mean when I say you can be either a plotter, or a pantser. A ‘pantser’ is someone who prefers to write by the seat of their pants and often (here’s looking at you Stephen King) that works, and you get great results.

But when it comes to your future career, you don’t want to be a pantser – you want to be a plotter! (That is, someone who meticulously plots their storyline upfront).

Do you have a dream company you’d love to work for one day? Well let’s start planning on getting you there. Commit to at least once a month, checking out their company website, their LinkedIn, their social media feeds – are they recruiting?

No worries if not – but use this time to work out what you need to achieve, and what you need to be able to demonstrate for when they are hiring. Get in touch on LinkedIn – seriously what is the worst that can happen? Shy bairns get nowt as we say – and let them know that you are interested in working with them one day.

Also, one day if you get that interview for your dream job you can guarantee they will ask you ‘why work for us?’ and you’ll already have the perfect answer.

Manage your Wellbeing

We’re not going to sugar coat this – times are hard right now, and I know for many of you looking for a job during the height of a global pandemic is probably one of the most draining things to be doing. Especially when on top of that you could be looking after relatives, working away at college or university work and you haven’t seen your pals properly in months.

Well, you should try to plan some of your downtime just as much as you should plan your job searching – seriously, schedule it in.

Hit up the gal pals and get that weekly Zoom back on track, that Tv show you watch with your flatmates? Make it official – every Thursday at 7PM (how great is Drag Race UK btw?)

And that novel you are writing, whether you are a plotter or a pantser, put it on the calendar (three times a week for an hour and a half a time for me, and I’m totally a panster).

Then just make sure you have time just for you whether that is listening to your favourite music, reading a book, working out or cooking up a storm - get those endorphins flowing.

Remember that if you are struggling, there are places and people you can turn to for help – we’ve listed some of these below, but this is not an exhaustive list. If you are seriously worried about your health in any way, you should always consider speaking to your GP.


  • Talking Therapies - This will take you to the NHS directory of Talking Therapies, you are able to self-refer once you have identified your local service.
  • Samaritans - Provides a listening service for those at risk of suicide, you can also call direct on 116 123 for free
  • Campaign Against living Miserably CALM - Provides listening services, information and support for men at risk of suicide, including a web chat
  • Kooth - Counsellors available until 10pm every day. Free, safe and anonymous online counselling for young people. Check whether this is offered in your area
  • Cruse – Cruse offer bereavement and counselling for anyone who is going through loss. You can contact them via their website or by calling 0808 808 1677.


Not much has changed since last month, so the lockdown rules continue to be the same. 


It is important that during this time we all play our part and follow the current lockdown rules which are regularly updated by the BBC here.

Reasons to leave home include:

  • Work or volunteering where it is "unreasonable" to work from home. This includes work in someone else's home, such as that carried out by social workers, nannies, cleaners and tradespeople
  • Education, training, childcare and medical appointments and emergencies
  • Exercise outdoors (limited to once a day). This includes meeting one other person from another household in an open public space to exercise
  • Shopping for essentials such as food and medicine
  • Communal religious worship
  • Meeting your support or childcare bubble. Children can also move between separated parents Activities related to moving house
  • To flee the threat of harm or violence.*

REMEMBER! The last point there is really important. If you are in at risk of harm or violence then you are allowed to leave to get away from the danger.

Thank you for joining us this month and make sure to return next month for our hand-picked opportunities chosen especially for you! Remember, that if these opportunities aren't right for you, they may be relevant to a friend or family member so give them a nudge and send them our way.

If you'd like to join our Newsletter so that you can get a monthly reminder direct to your inbox the first Saturday of every month please sign up here.

Finally, if you're a business or organisation and would like us to shout out about your opportunities you can contact us here.

Stay safe and speak soon. - simon

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