Funds boost for skills

Keith Fisher pictured in the area of Easington Road where the vehicle was stopped.
Keith Fisher pictured in the area of Easington Road where the vehicle was stopped.

HUNDREDS of people are set to benefit from a £2.7m scheme aimed at boosting skills and career prospects.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s regeneration committee met to discuss the Skills Support for the Workforce programme, which the local authority will lead on for the region, with the aim of helping more than 2,000 people.

It could see 10 people employed to work on the project and the aim is to provide a range of training and support programmes to help employed people enhance their skills, advance their career prospects and reduce the risk of long-term unemployment.

The region-wide scheme, to be named Tees Valley Skills and fully funded by the European Social Fund, will target areas including chemical processing and engineering, digital, advanced manufacturing and health and social care.

Officers say it will target adults with a basic skills need or those without a full level two qualification and target priority groups including females, those with a disability and people aged over 50.

John Mennear, assistant director of community services, said the two-year programme aims to work with a minimum of 2,162 people before July 2015 and committee members agreed to accept the funds on behalf of the Tees Valley.

Independent councillor Keith Fisher praised the department for helping to secure the funds and said officer’s work often “goes unnoticed”.

Labour councillor Kevin Cranney echoed that and said it was a joint initiative including the council’s economic development department.

He added: “We have some excellent officers and they do some excellent work.”

Labour councillor Robbie Payne, committee chair, will write to thank those involved in securing the funds.