A pioneering skills centre for Melton borough residents will open its doors on April 1 aiming to help 500 people in its first year of operation.
Melton Council’s Me and My Learning project has secured £400,000 in match funding from the European Social Fund and will be based at Phoenix House in Nottingham Road.
The centre will provide jobseekers with work-ready skills and help vulnerable residents become digitally, financially and socially independent.
At a launch event training providers, counsellors and employers heard how the centre will act as a ‘one-stop shop’ bringing together skills, training and advice in one place.
Melton Council says just over 6,000 people or 19.1 per cent of working age residents in the borough either had no qualifications or only NVQ Level 1.
And there are between 750 ad 900 families in the borough with complex needs relating to drugs and alcohol, mental health issues, homelessness or learning difficulties.
Gemma Ruigrok, Me and My Learning project manager, said: “Our aim, working with our partners, children’s centres and advice services at Parkside including JobCentre Plus, is to bring services together to tackle barriers to employment and independent living.
“The services we offer will be open to anyone living in the borough but priority groups for us will be lone parents, jobseekers and employment and support allowance claimants.
“We will seek to give 500 people access to one or more services and look at how we can make the project sustainable after March 2015.”
Pam Posnett, deputy leader of Melton Council, said: “This project builds on work we’re already doing and will make a difference to people’s lives by giving them the confidence and motivation they need.”