AROUND 130 young people are being helped on to the employment ladder after a council-run apprenticeship scheme was launched.
The hunt is on for lucky jobseekers in east Durham to take up the posts with small and medium-sized businesses as part of the County Durham Apprenticeship Programme.
Under the initiative, scores of people aged 16 to 24 will be employed for a minimum of two years on a wage subsidy allowance funded by Durham County Council and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Councillor Neil Foster, said: “This is a really important initiative.
“Not only are we telling our young unemployed residents that we can help, but we are supporting small and medium sized businesses at the same time.
“It is particularly pleasing that we have been able to do this despite the challenging financial climate and I feel sure this scheme will prove life-changing for the many people it will touch.”
The scheme will see training and management support given towards the companies taking on the apprentices.
The council’s employability team will co-ordinate and deliver the programme in partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service, Jobcentre Plus, New College Durham and Derwentside Training.
Businesses wanting more information about the apprenticeship scheme should call 03000 262012.