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Training scheme gets the stamp of approval from dale gardener

An Eggleston landscape gardener has told of how a training scheme has helped improve his employees’ skills and given him the chance to win more contracts.

Businesses throughout the dale can apply for training grants through the Teesdale Upskilling and Employability Project, run by Teesdale Action Partnership and Bishop Auckland College.

The latest to benefit from the scheme is CA Stamp Grounds and Agriculture which arranged for two employees to attend a cross-cutting and maintenance course at Netwton Rigg College, in Penrith, last month.

The three day course saw 21-year-old Alastair Hunter and 17-year-old Craig Thompson earn qualifications in health and safety, maintenance and operation surrounding chainsaw use.

Business owner Chris Stamp said: “It means I don’t have to get sub-contractors in, we can do it ourselves.

“It makes you a bit more aware of health and safety and makes you think a bit more.”

He added: “I have always had to pay for the courses myself, so it has been a massive help. I have probably saved about £1,000.”

Denise Hopps, project officer for the scheme, said: “This has been of great benefit to both the employer and employees, as it will allow Chris to bid for more contracts, as he has a more skilled workforce, and will have a positive impact on the employees’ earnings.”

Mr Hunter added that the qualifications will allow him to apply for more jobs and earn him more hours.

For more information about the Teesdale Upskilling and Employability Project, contact Teesdale Action Partnership 0300 0260817 or Ms Hopps on 01388 443078.