Hope to double training places

A CHARITY which has helped more than 3,300 people over the past four years aims to fight unemployment by doubling its specially-tailored training courses.

Kettering Centre for the Unemployed hopes its move into Fuller Baptist Church in Gold Street, Kettering, last month will allow it to double its courses in subjects like social care and warehousing to 100 a year within three years.

Chief executive Paul Jackson said: “Our profile is changing to suit the current requirements of Kettering as a town.”

The 300-year-old church’s Heritage Room has been refitted with 14 new top-specification computers donated by the Microsoft Foundation, desks and chairs for the charity’s numerous information technology courses, which are free to people on qualifying benefits.

Mr Jackson, 57, who joined the charity two years ago, said: “We are delighted that our students are getting somewhere as good as anywhere in Kettering.”

But it is the new two-week intensive warehouse skills and childcare courses brought in because they match available jobs that the charity hopes will get people back into work.

Mr Jackson said even basic skills learned in two weeks could give jobseekers the edge in an interview.

The new premises – which include a new home for the charity’s popular creche – have boosted class sizes from 10 to 35 and instantly wiped out the 30 per cent over-subscription of its courses.

The church’s Wallace Room, which parishioners use for table tennis games, can hold up to three groups of 25 users, with partitions.

Mr Jackson said: “The space available, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

For further details about the trainings visit the KCU website at www.kcultd.org.uk.