The Sliding Doors Project is a partnership initiative between Durham Constabulary, Durham County Council and a wide range of educational providers such schools, colleges, and Pupil Referral Units in County Durham and Darlington. The initiative offers building and construction based work placements for young people aged between 14 and 18 years old that meet the Sliding Doors criteria.
Young people are identifid in areas of high harm of Co Durham and Darlington ,who may be struggling with main stream education, committing anti-social behaviour and disengaged with their local communities.
Durham County Council provides the young person with three days of induction training prior to attending the work placement, all the appropriate personal protective equipment and a work place mentor. The young person is provided with a placement in their locality and is expected to arrive at the construction site on their allocated day each week between 8.00am - 4:30pm, where they will work with their mentor as part of the team delivering the construction project.
The placement will allow the young person the opportunity to experience most building trade activities, develop practical hands on skills and gain a range of life skills. Each construction project can offer up to three placements per week with one young person attending each day. Any training undertaken by operatives on site is also offered to the young person with certification provided. The young person is encouraged to understand the educational requirements for all the roles on site which helps reinforce the need for appropriate qualifications.
The pilot took place at the £2m refurbishment of Peterlee Leisure Centre in early 2019 and proved to be a great success offering five trade based work placements one each day of the week. The coordinated approach was richly rewarded as the Peterlee Neighbourhood Policing Team quickly reported dramatic falls in ASB incidents in the Town Centre. East Durham College reported a significant improvement in behaviour, attendance and educational outputs from the students directly engaged in the initiative and some improvement from other students in their peer group. The Construction team benefited from zero incidents of theft or vandalism on site.
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