A Peterlee lighting specialist has taken on two young people after accessing support through the DurhamWorks employment programme.
Harbro Electrical Wholesale and Lighting, a family firm based on Peterlee Business Park, has expanded its team to enable further growth.
Harbro’s managing director, Philip Harbord, met with Emma West, a DurhamWorks business advisor, to discuss the benefits of taking on a young person. Philip expressed that he was looking to expand and develop his business to offer a much broader range of LED lighting, increase sales and improve customer service.
Emma and the DurhamWorks team developed a bespoke package of support for Harbro, including initial candidate screening, help with grant applications and ongoing in-work support.
Philip decided to take on two DurhamWorks young people, David Dinsdale and Trey Hudson, both from Wheatley Hill, to help develop the company’s marketing and warehousing operations.
DurhamWorks is a partnership project between Durham County Council and 16 support organisations that work together to support young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
Harbro was successful in securing £10,000 of funding from the project’s Learning Earning Working grant fund, to contribute to the salaries, training and development of David and Trey.
Philip said: “We found the process of working with DurhamWorks very smooth and this has enhanced our customer service and also supported our current expansion plans. It is a great way to expand your business, contributing to the local community and providing employment opportunities.”
After leaving school, David didn’t want to go on to sixth form and decided to try and find an apprenticeship. He wanted to develop his communication skills and had a keen interest in using social media as a communication tool.
David has also embarked on a Level 3 apprenticeship in Social Media and Digital Marketing in Business and had initially applied to DurhamWorks for support with transport costs to enable him to get to his new job.
Trey left school and started college but found it wasn’t for him. Having completed a 10-week traineeship, he found he needed help and support to find a job. Working with DurhamWorks, Trey was able to secure a warehousing role at Harbro and is currently completing his Level 2 apprenticeship in Warehousing and Storage.
Harbro Electrical operates from a unit on Peterlee’s North West Industrial Estate, where it also has a public showroom for its home and business lighting products.