A new skills and enterprise training centre has officially opened in Shropshire with the ambition of supporting hundreds of young people into work or education over the next five years.
The new Landau Training and Enterprise Centre in Wellington will allow people who are currently not in work or education the opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience in several sectors including construction, hospitality and hair and beauty.
A fully-equipped hair salon, nail bar, café, construction skills suite and various teaching spaces feature in the new facility, which is located in the former Barclays Bank building on Church Street.
Award-winning charity Landau, which will operate the facility, has also moved its headquarter operations from the town’s Tan Bank to the new, larger site.
The investment demonstrates the charity’s ongoing commitment to skills and training in the county and forms part of its ambitious plans to get more than 500 young people upskilled and into work.
A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the opening of the centre on Friday, April 29, with the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, doing the honours. She was accompanied at the event by Shropshire’s High Sheriff Selina Graham.
A number of civic dignitaries were also in attendance including Telford & Wrekin Mayor Councillor Amrik Jhawar, Mayor of Oakengates Councillor Stephen Reynolds and former Mayor of Wellington Councillor Anthony Lowe.
Landau Chief Executive Sonia Roberts said the new training and enterprise centre would play a significant role in helping to raise educational attainment across the county by providing a range of opportunities for young people who are currently unemployed or not in education.
“Landau has a successful track record of supporting people through training and into sustainable employment regardless of any barriers that they may have encountered previously, and this new facility will enable us to expand that support to help even more people,” she said.
“It marks a real milestone in our delivery and demonstrates our continued commitment to promoting opportunities and changing lives.”
Elliot Shipley (21) has been receiving support from Landau for the last three years after the transition from school to college proved too challenging for him.
He is among the first group of learners to move into the new building and is currently taking part in the Landau Study Programme.
He will sit his Level 2 exams in English and Maths next month before progressing onto the IN2 programme which supports young people into further education and employment.
He said: “I would not be where I am today without the support of Landau. I aspire to be a paramedic one day, but I did not suit a mainstream college, so Landau have helped me to fulfil my potential. I’m a really caring person and to be able to help someone in their hour of need is my dream so they’re helping me to achieve that.”
The new centre will offer training in a range of vocational qualifications including NOCN Entry Level 3 Introduction to Construction; Level 1 and 2 in Customer Services; NOCN Beauty and Hospitality accredited qualifications and VTCT awarded NVQs up to Level 3 in Hair and Beauty, as well apprenticeships and certificates in general functional and employability skills.
Landau works in partnership with a number of organisations across the Shropshire area to deliver its projects and support services and last year it was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its work in Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).