A SCHEME that helps people find jobs by teaming up with North-East employers to provide specialist training is going from strength to strength.

Hartlepool College has joined forces with Newton Aycliffe manufacturing companies Husqvarna and Tallent Automotive to offer courses that give jobseekers a taste of the roles they will be applying for.

Over a two-week period, students are taught the basic skills needed for the job, as well as learning about health and safety and quality control.

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They leave with a level two certificate in “preparation for working in the manufacturing and engineering Industry” and an increased chance of gaining employment.

The courses are delivered at The Work Place in Newton Aycliffe – a vocational learning and conference centre containing classrooms with mock assembly lines.

Linda Purdie, human resources officer at Husqvarna, said the scheme had been highly beneficial for the company.

“We decided to get involved as we take on a lot of seasonal staff and many have never worked in a factory before,” she said.” We found that those who have completed the course are better prepared. We hope the course will prove just as successful next season.”

Husqvarna, which manufactures gardening equipment, takes on between 300 and 500 seasonal production line staff every January. This year, more than 300 jobs were awarded to jobseekers that completed the course.

In fact, the scheme has been so successful that Hartlepool College and The Work Place now offer a similar course in partnership with Tallent Automotive.

Philip Pearman, 24, and Louise Gressmann, 25, from Newton Aycliffe, said they would recommend the course to other jobseekers.

“It has been brilliant,” said Mr Pearman. “It helps you learn about the job you are hopefully going to do so when you arrive at the factory you know what to expect.”

Located on Aycliffe Business Park, The Work Place opened its doors in 2008 and offers a range of training opportunities.

In January, in partnership with Darlington College, it will launch courses in hospitality and catering and health, social and child care to young people not in education, training or employment. To find out more contact 01325-503050 or visit darlington.ac.uk

For more information about Hartlepool College courses contact 01429-295000 or visit hartlepoolfe.ac.uk

Alternatively contact The Work Place on 01325-375900 or visit twpa.org.uk