Charity opening training centre

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A NATIONAL crime reduction charity is turning an industrial unit into a training facility for young people.

Nacro has applied for planning permission for change of use of an industrial unit at Ailwin Road, Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds.

The unit, formerly used by a flooring company, will offer training in computers and IT, cooking skills for young people living alone, early stage hairdressing, car mechanics and office work.

A Nacro spokesman said the Bury unit had already started work and added: “It is being used to provide foundation learning for 16- to 19-year-olds referred to us by various organisations, or self-referrals, and we have a contract with Suffolk County Council working with people excluded from schools.

“It teaches practical skills and IT skills. It has not been there long and, down the line, we expect to have many more young people going there to learn.”

Nacro, which already has facilities in Ipswich, says it is the largest crime reduction charity in England and Wales, helping about 83,000 young people nationally each year.

It delivers 60 foundation learning programmes aimed at helping young people to steer away from crime into education or employment. For example, the car mechanics course can lead to a Motor Vehicle Studies Level One Certificate, which is enough for them to go on to college.

It says 70 per cent of those it works with are offenders but others are young people who have not offended but are considered ‘at serious risk of getting caught up in crime’ by the authorities and welfare organisations.