MORE than 200 jobseekers have benefited from a scheme helping people into work.

Since its launch in November 2012, Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership’s (Gamp) Employment Skills Fund and Discretionary Fund have helped residents gain specialist training in a range of areas.

Fork lift truck driving, tiling, plumbing, plastering, HGV, specialist gas training and hazardous off-shore training are just some of the courses the scheme has opened up.

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Fifty six people have gone on to secure employment, with one resident, Martyn Cutress, named Apprentice of the Year at a recent awards night hosted by S&D Training.

Mr Cutress had received support to complete his level two horticultural course.

Brian Riley, Gamp Coordinator, said it was the area action partnership’s biggest project to date.

“This project is unique to the Gamp area and brings together a wide range of partners to address barriers to employment,” he said.

“We are encouraging unemployed people from Newton Aycliffe and Middridge who think they could obtain work through specific training to apply to the fund”.

Further funding has been secured to ensure the project, which is managed by Bishop Auckland College, can continue.

The funding has come from the GAMP area budget, livin and the neighbourhood budgets of Durham County Councillors Joan Gray, John Clare, Eddy Adam, Mike Dixon, Kate Hopper, Jed Hilary and Sarah Iveson.

To find out more, contact Denise Hopps at Bishop Auckland College on or 01388-443078.