A CHRISTIAN charity has launched a new venture to provide training and skills for people not in education or the long-term unemployed.

Provision House, formerly known as Loaves n Fishes, has joined forces with businesses to build and fit-out a new workshop at its retail building opposite ‘top church’ in Dudley.

Several thousand pounds has been spent on creating a dedicated space for young people and adults to enjoy taster sessions and more specialist courses covering trades, such as carpentry, decorating, electrics and plumbing.

The new development has been backed by Lumberjack Tools, who were so inspired with the charity’s vision it donated more than £3,500 of free equipment that will be used under skilled supervision.

Nick Gainsford, operations director at Provision House, said: “There are a lot of people in Dudley and Sandwell who want to get into work or gain new skills, but don’t know where to go to get the knowledge they need to get started.

“This new workshop is a small step in helping individuals who are not in mainstream education, training or employment gain the chance to learn new skills that gives them confidence in the short-term and maybe even a route into a possible job going forward.”

He added: “We’re very fortunate in that we have built up a bank of excellent volunteers during our 18-year history and this workshop will be supported by local craftspeople and our resident trainer Dinesh Patel.

“Funding for the build of the space was self-financed and we are delighted to partner with Lumberjack Tools on ensuring people using our facility will have access to all the tools they need to learn and potentially create products we can sell in our own emporium.”

Fred Evans, managing director at Lumberjack Tools, added: “One of the staff at Provision House came to purchase some of our tools and told us what they were planning. It was a simple decision to get behind their venture and donate over £3,500 of equipment, with the promise of more to come when they have a better understanding of what they will need.

“We want to help create the next generation of craftsmen and women and if we can help in a small way to get people interested in a possible career in this field then all the better.

“Provision House is a fantastic charity that supports the Black Country in numerous ways and this workshop has the potential to cater for hundreds of individuals who are most at need of a new opportunity.”

Provision House welcomed students from the Invictus Revive Learning Centre to their first workshop and Chris Bennett, director of alternative provision for Invictus Education Trust, said: “We are very pleased to be working alongside Provisions House.

“The new workshop will be the ideal setting for students to design, develop and make enterprising products."

For more information on the venture visit provisionhouse.co.uk