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The sky is the limit for young people in Tees Valley and Durham

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Following a year-on-year increase in schools in Tees Valley and Durham showcasing the outstanding talents of their pupils, Young Enterprise is calling for even more to join the 10 schools that took part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme this year. Entry to the 2020 programme is now open.

Young Enterprise, formed in 1962, is a national charity that works with both the business and education sectors to engage young people, helping them to develop key employability skills outside of the classroom which they can transfer to the workplace. Its mission is to empower young people to discover, develop and celebrate their skills.

Jessica Williams, managing director, Just Williams and Durham and Tees Valley local volunteer board chair, said: “Since forming and launching the Tees Valley & Durham regional board in April 2015 we have drastically increased our footprint in the area meaning we are now reaching a much wider demographic, allowing us to support even more amazing and inspiring young people.

“It has been a phenomenally busy three years, a testament to the success of Young Enterprise, during which the continued commitment of the board, Young Enterprise managers, business partners and all of the brand ambassadors and business partners, shows the dedication that Teesside and Durham has to its young people.”

As part of the Young Enterprise Company Programme, young people aged 15-19 from across the UK, Channel Islands and Gibraltar set up almost 1000 Young Enterprise teams. All decisions including choice of product, naming and branding, financial and marketing are decided entirely by the students.

Students in the region proved they are of a national standard with Megan Yates, who attends Priory Woods School and Arts College in Netherfields, Middlesbrough, winning the 2019 Sir John Moore award for outstanding achievement in Young Enterprise.

Megan, said: “I have loved being part of Young Enterprise and would encourage everyone who can to take part as it is a fantastic opportunity. I have gained new skills including money management, customer services, leadership and team work. I was ecstatic to be chosen as manager of our group and felt determined to do the best I could for the team. When I was told I had won the award I couldn’t believe it! My trip to London was amazing and something I will never forget. The main thing I will take away from the experience is a new-found confidence in myself, which I couldn’t be more grateful for.”

Jill Tinsley, regional manager, North East and Yorkshire and Humber, Young Enterprise, said: “I am delighted to see that Young Enterprise and in particular schools taking part in the Company Programme have gone from strength-to-strength. We have had the opportunity to work with some absolutely amazing young people over the years including this year’s regional winners, students from The Royal Grammar school, Newcastle, with their innovative concept, Bizzy Bee Books. The icing on the cake has been Meghan Yates winning the Sir John Moore award which is a fantastic achievement. None of the work we do would be possible without the support and dedication of Jessica Williams, Durham & Tees Valley local volunteer board chair and the board members who give so much time and effort to Young Enterprise.”