Business boost for youngsters

A HARTLEPOOL business is doing its bit to boost the town’s employment market – by creating 10 new jobs.

Energy Direct has added to its staff after it won a contract with a large telecommunications firm.

The company, which is based at The Innovation Centre, on Hartlepool’s Queen’s Meadow business park, hopes to create a further 40 jobs in the coming months.

Jon Shayler, Energy Direct’s head of operations and business development, said: “Just before Christmas we ran some recruitment and we have taken on 10 fairly young people from the surrounding area that are joining us today.

“We will be putting them through the training they need and setting them off on the job.

“It was important for us to get people from the local area and try to do our bit and create jobs for the younger people in town that are struggling to find work.”

Energy Direct will provide sales services for XLN Telecom, a UK provider of phone lines and broadband to small businesses.

Mr Shayler added: “We are kicking off the piece of work with 10 people to start with, with a view to grow to 50 over the coming months.

“We will be bringing new prospects and offering broadband and telephone packages for XLN as well as signing up new and existing customers.”

Energy Direct celebrates its tenth anniversary later this year.

It describes itself as a leading independent utilities consultant which works to save businesses money on their utility costs and energy consumption.

Its clients range from major blue chip organisations to small and medium size enterprises.

Hartlepool’s youth unemployment rate is the third highest in the country.

Last week the Hartlepool Mail reported that 15 teenagers could benefit from a new apprenticeship scheme aimed at getting young people in to work if plans are given the green light.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s new environmental apprenticeship project could see 18-year-olds from town employed by the council.

The planned scheme is a partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education.