Up to £3,000 worth of funding is available to County Durham businesses through the DurhamWorks programme.
DurhamWorks, which is a partnership between Durham County Council and 16 other organisations, is providing ‘Learning Working Earning’ grants to help local businesses employ young people in the county.
So far, just under £1.5 million has been awarded in LWE grants to over 350 employers.
The grant is available to small to medium enterprises to help them create opportunities for young people and can be used to part-fund the cost of a salary or to purchase equipment, clothing, uniform or tools to support the young person.
Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The benefits of employing young people are limitless, and can be a great way to breathe new life into a business through their infectious enthusiasm and fresh perspectives.
“Young people are eager to learn and can be shaped to meet your business needs as well as offering both a short and long-term answer to skills demands.
“Working alongside DurhamWork’s business advisors, you could have a hand in transforming a young person’s life and giving them the chance they need to fulfil their potential.”
Newton Aycliffe-based family-run engineering company A-Tech have drawn on the experience of DurhamWorks advisors, and received financial help to find a talented young draughts person.
A-Tech has been operating in the material handling, battery handling and robotic solutions markets for 28 years.
Whilst they were keen to invest in young local talent, their previous attempts to find candidates with the relevant skills had been complicated and time consuming.
DurhamWorks business advisors took the stress out of the recruitment process and matched them with 21-year-old Ben Hall, who they employed as a full-time apprentice draughts person.
Ben has brought extra capacity to the design department, which will have a knock-on effect on A-Tech’s potential business revenue.
As an added bonus, Ben can also share the skills that he gains at college with the rest of the team.
William Manners, A-Tech’s company director, said: “Through the help and support from DurhamWorks A-Tech has been able to source a talented young individual, who just needed the opportunity to show his potential.
“Ben has become a valuable member of the team, showing great progression as he produces CAD models and drawings to feed production after only a few weeks of starting in the position.”
Durham County Council is the main partner in the DurhamWorks partnership project, which is funded by the European Social Fund’s Youth Employment Initiative.
To find out more, head to www.durhamworks.info/employers or alternatively call 03000 262 930.