£350k boost for training scheme

THE number of young people being recruited onto a council-backed apprentice scheme is to be increased after a £350,000 donation.

The County Durham Apprenticeship programme was launched in November with the aim of helping 130 local youngsters into work.

Now that number will be increased, thanks to fresh support from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT), which match-funds certain aspects of the scheme.

The CRT has given a cash injection to initiative, which is targeted at 16 to 24-year-olds in County Durham and boosts businesses at the same time,

Andy Lock, assistant director of programmes at the CRT, said: “A high priority for us is to support young people from former mining communities into new and fulfilling futures.

By supporting this apprenticeship programme we are making a real and tangible difference to the lives of many young people.”

Councillor Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “It is a real joy to see our younger residents benefiting from this important scheme so quickly. Just last month we saw the first apprentice enter the private sector.

“I am sure this programme will go from strength to strength and the additional £35,000 from the CRT is a fantastic boost.”

Businesses interested in learning more about the scheme can call the council’s employability team on 03000 262009.