FOUR North-East education and training establishments have teamed up to offer courses.

Woodham Community Technology College, Greenfield School Community and Arts Centre, ITEC North-East and South-West Durham Training, all in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, will launch the vocational-based qualifications today.

The organisations will offer students a chance to study applied GCSE courses at Key Stage 4 in engineering and business, helping them prepare for careers.

The new applied GCSEs aim to broaden students' experiences and engage less academic young people by rewarding practical talents with qualifications.

Students from the two schools can combine the classroom expertise of their teachers with vocational input and facilities from the two training centres.

The scheme, financially supported by County Durham Economic Partnership, will be launched at South-West Durham Training today.