TWO jobseekers boosted their skills and job prospects after securing work placements with a building firm.

Darren Edwards, of Willington, and Shaun Henderson, from Bishop Auckland, completed two-week placements working on housing projects with Wates Building Services, in Crook.

The pair gained the experience thanks to a link-up between Durham County Council, Dale and Valley Homes and Wates Building Services.

The council’s employability project offers free mentoring and help with letter-writing and CVs and advice on training, education and securing funds to gain new skills to help unemployed people find work.

Durham County Councillor Neil Foster, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “This is another example of how successful our partnership with local employers is proving in helping jobseekers get back into training and work.”

Joanne Jamieson, regional managing director of Wates Living Space, added: “Work placements act as a great launch pad for those serious about embarking upon a career in construction.

“At Wates, we make a concerted effort to pass on our knowledge and skills to support those looking to join the industry and it was fantastic to see such enthusiasm from Darren and Shaun.

“Both embraced the opportunity of on the job experience and I hope that they go on to enjoy fruitful careers in the sector.”

The employability project is available to residents in Mid Durham, Teesdale, Weardale, Bishop Auckland, Shildon, Crook, Tow Law and Willington via funding from Area Action Partnerships.

For details call 03000-262383.