The training centre Free2learn has opened a new branch in Lewisham. Their four-week courses aim to receive more than 1500 attendees in 2013.
Gabriel Cherfcovic, Free2learn’s Curriculum Manager, said: “30 per cent of the people attending our courses will find a job straight away, while 20 per cent will still need our help”.
According to London’s Poverty Profile, Lewisham ranks one of the highest boroughs affected by youth unemployment and Lewisham Strategic Partnership states that it is the 15th most ethnically diverse local authority in England.
Cherfcovic claims: “The courses target all types of people, with different experiences, ages and origins”. He said that the reason to open a branch in Lewisham was because they “found a gap in opportunities for unemployed people to be trained”.
The centre aims to keep more than 10 people on staff, of which “50 per cent will be local”, Cherfcovic says.
Eastlondonlines spoke to some of Lewisham’s local residents, and it seems that they are willing to receive this new training centre with open arms.
Jessica, 19, unemployed, said: “I am looking for a weekend job. At the moment no one is hiring so I think the new training centre will be really good. They will help me find a job and build up my CV”.
Jack, 26, is employed and thinks that “it will help unemployed people, especially the young, to find a job. People need support in finding work and a new training centre will provide that.“
George, 32, “I was made redundant over a year ago and have struggled to find a work since. I know a lot of other people are in the same position. This centre will give us all a place to go to for advice and opportunities, and we will be able to meet employees as well”.
Free2learn has also a branch in Hackney that opened two years ago, and has trained 3000 people to a “high rate of employability”. They hope to have a similar result in Lewisham.