UNEMPLOYED people are opening new doors for themselves by helping to bring empty homes back into use and learning new job-boosting skills at the same time.
The training opportunity has been created through the Opening Doors social enterprise arm of Hartlepool New Deal for Communities Trust.
It offers people looking to find work experience and basic training skills in construction environments in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council and Housing Hartlepool.
The trainees have helped to refurbish two homes in Mapleton Road and one in Borrowdale Street that were bought by the council through its £5.8m Empty Property Purchasing Scheme.
Councillor Robbie Payne, chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s regeneration services committee, said: “Partnership working such as this creates a win-win situation for the town, with unemployed people gaining new skills while empty properties are brought back into use before they can contribute to the wider decline of a particular area.”
The trainees are also working on a number of other properties that have been acquired by Housing Hartlepool.
Chris Barnard, of the NDC Trust, said: “By working in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council and Housing Hartlepool, we are delighted to be helping local unemployed people improve their chances of finding a job whilst also contributing to the overall improvement of the town.”
The council’s empty home buying scheme has a target of bringing 100 properties back into use by March.