A former charity shop has been revamped to create a new skills centre for disadvantaged young people.

Uplands Enterprise Trust closed a charity shop on Gorse Hill to open the new skills centre.

And thanks to a National Lottery Grant, it has been able to make the environment more professional and buy new IT equipment.

Chief executive Jackie Smith said: “This is vital, the work the young people are doing.

“It’s about giving them opportunities to practice the skills they’ve learnt in schools and at college.

“They want to give something back and this gives them that avenue, that outlet to do that.”

The skills centre will give people the chance to learn and refine practical skills that they might not have been able to do at college in order to prepare them for real world jobs.

The trust's director of operations Lisa Harding, added: “It’s about transferring the skills they’ve learnt there and then bringing them into here and transferring those skills to the workplace. Where the college is very much education, this is about work.

“We do treat the guys as if they are at work. They have to ring us if they’re going to be off sick, they have very structured breaks so they know what they’re doing and it’s all about professional behaviour, transferable skills and what will be acceptable out there.

“We don’t want to set them up to fail.

“We are quite strict on certain things but we want to make sure they are prepared for life outside of education.”

Amongst the skills that are taught at the centre is business management and selling.

“We do a lot of online selling,” Lisa added: “We use Music Magpie which links into the charity shops.

“If we have items in there that have had their rotation and haven’t sold they come here to be sold online. Either on the clearance sites or we use other online selling forms in order to sell more specialist items.

“It’s building on their IT skills. We also help with their CVs, there’s also some admin and researching different jobs.

“Then we have the whole enterprise element of it where we print t-shirts and mugs and practical lines.”

Alongside these skills, Lisa is hoping that they might be able to provide PAT testing for business.

She added: “We do PAT testing for electrical items which we then sell in the shops. We also go round and test the electricals in our shops too.

“The whole idea is that as this develops we can sell that as a resource.

“This could be a really important service that we could be offering out to independent business.