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SCORES of Teesside learners have been honoured at Pertemps People Development Groups (PPDG) annual achievement awards in acknowledgement of their success and determination to find work.

A total of 75 learners - who have jointly gained a staggering 104 qualifications within one year to help them find employment - were presented certificates by TFM radio presenter Graeme Mack at PPDGs Thorntree office.

The achievement awards honoured participants of specialist programmes, including Employment Zone, E2E and NEETS, who used the learndirect services to better themselves.

Mr Mack said: I left school with one O Level and had to continually gain qualifications throughout my adult life, including a broadcasting degree, to be able to do the jobs I loved, so I understand how hard the learners have worked to accomplish their successes.

The confidence each person will receive from being honoured will also spur them to continue until they do find employment.

Since establishing PPDG which has offices in Middlesbrough, Thorntree and Redcar has helped more than 6100 formerly unemployed Teessiders into work.

PPDG operations manager Kevin Monaghan, said: Training is more important today than it ever has been as the number of people unemployed continues to grow. This is especially relevant as the majority of people who are now being made redundant are highly qualified, which makes the competition even higher.

All 75 learners have taken it upon themselves to gain the necessary qualifications they need to get on in life, which is an amazing testament to their determination.

Among the successful learners was Vicky Cunningham, 18, of Berwick Hills, who was referred to PPDG from Connexions in January this year with aspirations to find a permanent dental placement in the region.

Vicky was enrolled onto the E2E programme and gained qualifications in three courses - OCR literacy level one and two, and key skills level one in problem solving. Following her success on these courses she hoping to enrolled on her dental apprenticeship through the Chamber of Commerce.

Another person to succeed through training is Alistair Lowrie, 45, of Cargo Fleet Lane, who has been out of work since 2001.

Alistair used the learndirect services to undertake courses in OCR level two literacy and numeracy to have the vital qualifications he needs to become a classroom assistant.

He has also moved one step further to achieve his ambition and gained a 14-week part-time placement as a job search support assistant within PPDGs Thorntree office, which will help him gain key job experience.


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