Young unemployed County Durham residents are being given ground-breaking new opportunities through the DurhamWorks Programme.
In a joint project between Durham County Council and Groundwork, three teams of five young people have been recruited to undertake a range of environmental projects while receiving training from both Groundwork and the council’s Clean and Green team.
These teams have been based at Peterlee, Bishop Auckland and Annfield Plain since 18 July 2017 and will undertake project work across the county as part of an ‘environmental task force.’
Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to bring these dedicated young people into the workplace, where we know they’ll be a real asset to Groundwork and our Clean and Green team.
“Furthermore, they’ll get satisfaction from making improvements to their home county, so local residents will also benefit from this ground-breaking scheme.”
Chris Watson, head of land and communities at Groundwork North East, added: “Groundwork welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with Durham County Council to provide genuine opportunities for young people to improve their skills and gain work experience whilst improving the local environment within their own communities.”
DurhamWorks is a partnership programme between Durham County Council and 15 other organisations, for young people aged 16-24 living in County Durham who are not in education, employment or training.
The project is funded by the European Social Fund, supported by the European Youth Employment Initiative and the various partner organisations.
Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services, said: “I can’t wait to see the positive impact this scheme will have, not only on the communities that will benefit from these specialised teams, but on the lives of these young people who now have gainful employment.”
Four supervisors have also been employed to manage the teams as they set about keeping County Durham clean and green.
To find out more about DurhamWorks visit durhamworks.info