North east independent builders merchant Thompson Building Centres has joined forces with Jobcentre Plus on a new scheme to help umemployed youngsters learn new skills.
Sunderland-based Thompsons has already offered places to eight new recruits.
The young people, all aged between 16 and 25, will learn about sales and purchase ledgers and work as cleaners, yard and waste operatives and retail assistants during their eight week work placement with the company.
When it comes to an end, Thompson’s will take on a new team of youngsters as part of a rolling programme of placements.
The Work Experience scheme forms part of a national Get Britain Working campaign aimed at tackling unemployment by calling on private and public sector employers to help jobless young people.
Gemma Ganley, human resources manager for Thompson Building Centres, said: “We didn’t think twice about getting involved with this scheme.
“It’s harder than ever for young people to get into the workplace. They can’t get jobs unless they have experience but experience comes with work, so it’s a Catch 22 situation.
“It’s vital, not just for them but for the wider regional economy, that companies which are in a position to help them do so.”
Thompson Building Centres has branches across the North East and in Yorkshire with centres in Sunderland, Durham, South Shields, Gateshead, Team Valley Newcastle and York.