Young workers in the construction industries are being targeted with a series of potentially life-saving courses in South and East Yorkshire to alert them to the dangers of asbestos.

The courses – being held in Sheffield, Doncaster, Hull, Beverley and Goole – are being organised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and industry partners to reinforce the vital importance of asbestos awareness training. By law, anyone employed to work on any type of construction or refurbishment project must have been provided with the training.

The half-day training sessions, which run from 20 March to 2 April, have been designed to benefit individuals, sole traders and major employers.

HSE inspector Medani Close, who specialises in the construction industry for HSE in South and East Yorkshire, said: "Many young tradespeople believe that because asbestos is no longer used in building work, it no longer poses a threat to them. But that simply is not true and is a potentially dangerous assumption to make.

"Asbestos was widely used in domestic, commercial and industrial premises for decades before it became illegal, and its presence is still widespread – and will be for many years to come.

"Asbestos awareness training will help people in the building trades to recognise asbestos, understand its dangers and educate them about the steps that they can take to protect themselves."

The courses, which cost £10 or £20 for a firm with more than 16 employees, are accredited by the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. The dates are as follows: 20 March Sheffield, 22 March Doncaster, 25 March Hull, 26 March Beveley and 2 April Goole.