A NEW £300,000 skills centre in Worcester has opened its doors in a bid to get more people into the construction industry.

This purpose-built facility, which is located at Warndon Community Centre in Shap Drive, is known as 'The Building Block' and will deliver flexible training for would-be workers.

Worcester Community Trust says the centre offers expertise in bricklaying, plumbing, tiling, woodwork and decorating alongside specific training courses.

To mark the opening a range of DIY taster sessions are also taking place to give people hands-on, practical skills to help them at home.

MP Robin Walker was alongside other city leaders to attend the opening event last Friday, calling it a "fantastic addition" to the city.

Its opening comes just a week after the city's unemployment level fell to its lowest since claimant counts began in 1983 to 923, just 1.4 per cent of the working age population.

Helen Scarrett, chief executive of the community trust, said: "The Building Block is a fantastic facility and a great addition to the set of community and specialist services we offer across the city.

"This is all about creating as much education and training opportunities as possible for residents to access, which will give them a much better chance of finding employment.

"It also offers a range of leisure activities for the community."

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the deputy leader of Worcestershire County Council and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "The construction industry is incredibly important to our regional economy, and we need more young people and adults to take advantage of the opportunities now available on their doorstep.

"We hope as many local people as possible take the leap and benefit from the hands on training the centre offers."

The deputy leader at Worcester City Council, Councillor Marc Bayliss, said the site offers "really useful life skills" as well as boosting people's job prospects.

Richard Grounds, an executive director at social housing landlord Fortis Living, said: "As an active affordable housing developer we recognise the need for a skilled local workforce.

"The Building Block will offer quality learning and development opportunities which will help make sure we have the skills on hand to help us deliver homes for the future."

For more details on the centre or to book a course call 01905 453453 extension 102.