PEOPLE living in East Durham are to have their three Rs tested as part of a pilot numeracy and literacy scheme.

The Test the County programme is being organised by the Learning and Skills Council and will initially be concentrated in the Easington district.

Based on Sunderland's recent successful Test the City initiative, the scheme will see seven roving recruiters, in blue and yellow T-shirts out in the community between October 3 and 28.

They plan to involve at least 500 individuals, who will be offered the opportunity to take maths and English skills checks.

The ultimate aim is to then encourage 125 of the 500 to sit a nationally-recognised level one or two qualification in these key learning areas.

During the pilot scheme, two community venues will be visited each day and online tests will also be carried out at Yoden House, in Peterlee town centre, the Learning Centre, at Fern Court, on the Bracken Hill Industrial Estate, Peterlee, and at the Aim High Centre, in Church Street, Seaham.

Brenda Parsonage, from East Durham and Houghall College, which is involved in the project, said: "We are confident that the project can help raise the awareness of the need for better literacy and numeracy levels and, more importantly, help a large number of adults in the Easington area improve their qualifications."