A SCHEME which has helped tackle unemployment in rural County Durham is to continue for another 12 months.

The Rural Employability Scheme, backed by the Teesdale Action Partnership (TAP) has helped 19 people from the dale find work, including six people who have been taken on as apprentices.

In addition, 22 people have been found training places and another 20 have gone into the voluntary sector.

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TAP co-ordinator Craig Morgan said the initial target for the project was to provide help to 80 people by the end of the current financial year.

“It has been very successful so far this year, hence we are proposing to support it for another 12 months,” he said.

TAP is expected to agree funding of £30,000 for the scheme's second year.

“The project works by targeting people who have multiple barriers to getting a job,” added Mr Morgan.

Although funded by TAP, the project is run by Durham County Council's economic regeneration team and a mentoring officer based in Teesdale House, Barnard Castle.

Helping tackle rural unemployment is one of TAP's top priorities.