Kensington and Chelsea College (KCC) is opening a brand new centre to provide training in construction skills to young people, adults and ex-offenders. TheTransition Skills Centre will make a real difference to the lives of some of the mostdisadvantaged young people in London.

For two days a week, the centre will open its doors to ex-offenders on theSkillsweb project, who will learn new skills in construction. For the rest of theweek, the centre will provide training in Construction and the Built environment for14-16 year olds from schools in West London. The Centre will also offer NVQs,Apprenticeships and Intermediate construction awards for all ages to thoseworking or planning to work in the industry.

Prisoners, who are eligible for release on a temporary license, as well as ex-offenders returning to London after serving their prison sentence elsewhere, willbe able to learn new skills in construction making them more employable. Mentorsat the centre will help learners take up local long-term job opportunities. Many ofthe 600 employers on the Park Royal estate have already recruited ex-offendersand found them to be loyal, productive members of staff.

The Transition Skills Centre will be opened by Learning and Skills (LSC) Regional Director David Hughes, on Thursday 29 November 2007, who says:

"This Centre will help people make the move from prison into proper, sustainablejobs. We know that with building booming in London, more and more employersare looking for skilled staff. At the same time we also know that getting a job canhelp stop re-offending; so I am really pleased to be able to support this project."The Centre is a good example of what colleges in London are doing to helppeople get into work. It will also deliver new skills to young people which are goingto be crucial to the London economy over the next few years. We want moreemployers to work with colleges in this way, helping local people get local jobs."

Mike Jutsum, KCC Chief Executive explains: "We can make a difference to people's lives by raising skill levels and supporting learners to become more employable, more confident and better empowered to improve their future. We are building a workforce to meet the challenging shortages of skills in the construction industry in the UK."

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