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Jake joins roll call of success for 50 Futures

Tim Whitehead and Jake Atkinson

A Middlesbrough Council officer is on an exciting new career path thanks to a ground-breaking employment scheme.

The 50 Futures programme was set up to provide a variety of high quality work experience placements to people in the local community.

From an initial goal of helping 50 local people back into employment, the life-changing work experience scheme has led to the creation of more than 200 work opportunities.

Among the success stories is 19-year-old Jake Atkinson who applied for a placement in November 2020.

After completing an engineering qualification at college, like many 18-year-olds Jake decided that this career path wasn’t for him.

Unsure of his next step, Jake contacted Middlesbrough Council’s Choosing Pathways team, where he was initially offered an eight-week placement through 50 Futures within the Council’s Digital team.

Jake went from strength to strength and was given an opportunity to complete a Level 3 Operational Delivery apprenticeship, and has now successfully landed a full-time position as a Digital Assistant within the Council.

Jake said: “I’ve always had a passion for working with computers and since joining Middlesbrough Council, I’ve learnt lots of new skills such as video editing and website development.

“The role has also boosted my self-confidence and problem-solving skills.”

Tim Whitehead, Middlesbrough Council’s Digital Manager, said: “From the start, Jake has introduced some innovative, fresh ideas into the Digital team, and it’s been a pleasure to see him flourish since his initial placement with us.

“As a manager, I would highly recommend the 50 Futures programme as it gives a local resident a step up into employment and boosts their skillset.”

Councillor Eric Polano, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The 50 Futures work experience programme has already had a massive impact on local people’s lives.

“It provides an opportunity for people to get their foot in the door and make a positive impression with a potential employer.”

Would you or someone you know benefit from a 50 Futures placement? Visit the 50 Futures page to find out more.

Any Middlesbrough-based business that would like to offer an individual a work placement can contact the 50 Futures team on 01642 811400 or email