Newcastle United Foundation has partnered with Gateshead’s Metrocentre to establish an innovative Careers Hub which was launched at a special event attended by centre founder and former Newcastle United Football Club chairman Sir John Hall.

Now open in Metrocentre’s Upper Green Mall, the Careers Hub, operated by Newcastle United Foundation, will provide an inspirational and inclusive space for young people to explore employment opportunities, receive career advice and support in developing workplace skills.

A celebratory event to launch the Careers Hub saw Sir John officially open the site within the Metrocentre Community Hub alongside guests including Ian Burns, Service Director at Gateshead Council, Metrocentre retailers and senior management and staff from Metrocentre and Newcastle United Foundation.

Hazel, one young person already supported into employment by the Foundation’s dedicated careers team also shared her journey into the world of work after joining free employability programmes organised by the charity.

Sir John said: “I was delighted to open the Careers Hub at the Metrocentre, the latest initiative of the Foundation. Being part of the community was always my dream – the community here give so much of their life to Newcastle United.

“I applaud the ambitions of the Foundation and wish them every success in their future ventures.”

Sir John has intrinsic links to both Metrocentre and Newcastle United Foundation, founding the iconic Gateshead shopping and leisure complex which opened in 1986.

And as former Newcastle United chairman and shareholder, Sir John was among the first donors providing vital funding to establish a charitable arm of the Club with the Foundation launched in 2008 with three members of staff.

Since then, the Foundation has expanded significantly and now supports more than 69,800 people annually with 240 staff working across the North East through education, personal development, and health and wellbeing programmes.

Steve Beharall, Newcastle United Foundation CEO, said: “For more than 15 years, Newcastle United Foundation has worked passionately to help thousands of people across Newcastle and the North East improve their lives, improve wellbeing and to inspire change.

“Sir John had a vision for the region and laid the foundations for our charity to deliver life-changing opportunities for North East people. Our Careers Hub is our latest commitment towards our vision of inspiring, connecting and collaborating to enhance people’s lives.

“This is an exciting opportunity to provide more support for people and businesses across the region as part of our developing hub and spoke model and we are thrilled to have our Careers Hub base at such a fantastic venue within Metrocentre.”

Two Newcastle United Foundation staff members are based at the Careers Hub and will support hundreds of community members annually to support individuals, businesses, schools and employers. Opportunities at the hub will include employability workshops, skill-building and personal development programmes, health and wellbeing activities and more.

Gavin Prior, Metrocentre Centre Director, commented: “The Metrocentre Community Hub was introduced to provide a facility which would allow us to deliver a range of services to benefit both our community and retailers.

“In the past year we have welcomed dozens of charities and community groups and provided employability training and recruitment facilities.

“Metrocentre’s collaboration with the Foundation will allow us to develop our employability offering and reach a wider audience due to the popularity of the Newcastle United brand.”

The Careers Hub is open weekdays between 9am and 5pm, with occasional evening and weekend opening hours. Opening times are displayed on site and are updated weekly.

For more information about the Foundation and programmes near you, follow Newcastle United Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for regular news and updates.