Staff at South West Durham Training are keeping it in the family.

Four employees will be joined by close family members, who are improving their career prospects through some of the courses on offer.

Wendy Chippendale is a training officer and her brother Ian Cooper, 20, has started a four-year advanced apprenticeship in engineering. She said: "Ian was looking for an engineering training provider and I told him to get in touch with us as we are a Centre of Vocational Excellence for Engineering."

Steve Armstrong is a sheet metal instructor at the centre and his son, David, 19, from Ouston, has decided to train in electrical mechanical maintenance.

John Fleming is the engineering centre co-ordinator and his son, Michael, 19, from Eppleby, North Yorkshire, is hoping to start a course in electrical engineering.

Mr Fleming said: "Michael has decided he wants to work in a practical profession and wants to start a training programme in order to progress with his career."

Ben Devine from Ferryhill is a warehousing training officer whose daughter, Simone, is undertaking an administration apprenticeship at the training centre.

Bob Waller, chief executive with South West Durham Training, said: "We are delighted to welcome staff relatives to train with us. It sends a very positive message to others that our own people have such confidence in the service we offer."