Employability, skills and training

The Red Hall employability project has now closed.

Funded with a grant from County Durham Community Foundation  the project delivered in partnership with Morrison’s Trust supported 132 people aged between 17 to 60 years old to overcome barriers to employment, 76% of these were unemployed.  67% of participants were male, 33% female.  8% of participants involved in the project were disabled.

Making the recruitment of Apprentices easier

Apprenticeships are a proven way to improve your workforce and can make your organisation more effective and competitive. You can train and develop your member of staff, reducing skills shortages even in the current economic climate. Apprenticeships can help you to develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.  Apprentices tend to be loyal, motivated and flexible within the company that invested in them.

Find information on employing an apprentice [pdf document]

We can offer support to businesses looking to recruit new employees. The service for employers includes:

  • Marketing of vacancies (including through the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
  • Recruitment support
  • Access to available grant funding as appropriate
  • Skills matching to ensure your business gets access to the right candidate
  • Access to current nationally provided training schemes
  • Apprenticeship support to assist SMEs to take on new employees from the unemployed of the borough

All of our services utilise and complement the other nationally available training schemes and apprenticeship programmes to ensure Darlington businesses and residents have the greatest opportunities. 

Contact business.support@darlington.gov.uk 

Foundation for jobs


The Foundation for Jobs campaign is a joint initiative to tackle youth unemployment led by Darlington Borough Council and The Northern Echo, in association with the Darlington Partnership of public and private sector organisations.

Working with industry it aims to create additional apprenticeship places and internships, as well as building closer links with business for young people while still at school, a proven strategy for preventing them falling into unemployment.

Foundation for Jobs [external link]

Contact details:  Owen McAteer - 01325 406299 / owen.mcateer@darlington.gov.uk

Encouraging engineering

The Encouraging Engineering project aims to encourage local students to consider a career in engineering by offering financial support with their studies and offering valuable work experience on their doorstep.

Darlington Borough Council, working in partnership with engineering companies Cummins Engines, DeepOcean Group (formerly CTC Marine Projects), MTE Limited (formerly Mech-tool Engineering Limited), Henry Williams Limited, Tracerco and local educational establishments, will offer summer placements to students together with mentoring support throughout their studies.

The project is funded by the British American Tobacco (BAT) legacy and supports a four-year programme of study for a Mechanical Engineering degree. Participating students will benefit from experience in a variety of commercial, technical and manufacturing roles, together with a financial bursary.

Students must be going on to study Mechanical Engineering (MEng) at University and be studying at a Darlington based college to be eligible to apply.

For further details about the project contact business.support@darlington.gov.uk

AGE Grant

AGE 16 to 24 targets employers with less than 50 employees, who are new to Apprenticeships or haven’t enrolled a new recruit or existing employee onto an Apprenticeship programme in the previous 12 months.

The National Apprenticeship Service will provide AGE 16 to 24 to eligible employers, with an individual value of £1,500. Employers can be paid ten grants in total during the lifetime of the initiative.

Contact details:  Please contact your chosen Training Provider.

Teesside University - Graduates for business

If you offer a salary of over £16,000 per year, we can provide funding over the first 6 months up to the value of £3,999.

The funding subsidy will support the growth of local businesses, help close the talent gap and match graduates with employment opportunities. A free recruitment service is also available for eligible employers.

Contact Details:  Graduate Employability Team, Telephone: 01642 384068 Email: graduatesforbusiness@tees.ac.uk

Support to individuals

If you are currently in work, but worried about possible redundancy, advice on changing jobs and updating skills is available from a range of providers operating across Darlington, please telephone 01325 406298 or email business.support@darlington.gov.uk, where we will be able to give you advice.

If you have been made redundant or are out of work, free support to get back to work quickly is available through Jobcentre Plus [external link]