A PROJECT has been given £12m to help 10,000 young people find work and education.

DurhamWorks, a scheme led by Durham County Council, works with local employers to help young people, aged between 16 and 24, find work.

There are currently almost 5,000 young people registered with the programme, while 3,100 have progressed into education, employment and/or training or gained a qualification.

The £12m from the European Social Fund and the European Council’s Youth Employment Initiative will help support a total of 10,000 people by the summer of 2021.

Councillor Olwyn Gunn said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding. It will allow us to continue the fantastic work for the next three years as well as support the county’s future workforce.”

DurhamWorks looks to develop the skills of young people in County Durham and work with local employers to create opportunities including work experience, employment, traineeships, apprenticeships and other training opportunities, along with supporting young people to become self-employed.

Rebecca Charlton owns DH9 Café in Stanley where she employed two apprentices last year with help from DurhamWorks. She said: “Anyone who is running their own business knows you’re eventually going to come to a point where you can’t physically do it all by yourself. It’s a great opportunity to have the help from DurhamWorks and the apprentices.”

Emily McKenna, one of the apprentices at DH9 Café, said: “People get a bit put off by apprenticeships but for me it’s been great, because you’re learning lots of different skills, you’re not just being chucked into a job and being expected to know things.

“It also sets you up for full time work. You can get a career out of it, you learn some really good life skills, people skills and there’s that opportunity to make friends for life as well.”