A SECOND group of apprentices on East Durham Homes’ Social Enterprise initiative, SHED2, have been recruited.

The six, all from east Durham, have completed their training and have been busy painting empty properties to prepare them for new tenants.

The SHED2 decorating service will soon be available to those tenants who have already benefitted from improvement as part of the decent homes standard.

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Older or disabled customers may qualify to have their kitchen and bathroom decorated free and any additional rooms are charged at a low cost.

East Durham Homes interim chief executive Michael Doyle said: “The SHED2 apprentices are doing really well and are ready to offer their service to customers. It’s great to see them working in homes and helping with the finishing touches.

"There is a real need for training and employment in our area and the social enterprise will enable us to attract funding and support through the provision of new services to the community.”

Wates Living Space regional managing director Joanne Jamieson said: “We look to develop skills and enrich the career prospects of local people where we can and initiatives such as SHED2 are invaluable.

"We are proud to be able to offer our support and to share our years of expertise in the construction industry to help those who are just starting out on their way."