TECHNOLOGY company staff who recorded outstanding results in a pioneering skills boosting project have been rewarded with a £2,000 grant.

Workers at electrical component-makers Mechetronics, in Bishop Auckland, started a lifelong learning course by achieving a 95 per cent pass rate in basic computing.

The company set up the project with Bishop Auckland College to encourage staff who are already highly skilled to become competent in other fields.

Mechetronics has set aside a training room and will spend the grant from County Durham Training and Enterprise Council on equipment so that workers can study at their own pace.

The firm, which was established 80 years ago, produces solenoids used in a range of products, including vending machines, lorry air-braking systems and bank cashpoint machines.

Company secretary Dianne Sharp said: "Since we started, we have had 24 people pass the basic computer course - a pass rate of 95 per cent - and we also have ten people learning German."