Charity Young London Today aims to boost education in Croydon
A charity which helps give vulnerable young people a chance is to open a new education centre.
Young London Today, based in Selhurst, work with vulnerable teenagers from 16-years-old who need help making the transition to living independently.
The charity, which also does work in Lambeth and Lewisham, officially launched in 2013 but workers been doing work in Croydon for the past decade.
But after seeing a number of cuts to support services in the borough for young people who are not in education and employment, the charity now plan to open an education centre.
The centre would be based in what is currently an industrial unit in Gloucester Road, opposite the building from where the charity runs at the moment.
Peter Lang, operations manager at the charity, said the centre would teach basic maths and English as well as working with UKBA to teach a course in English as a second language.
Mr Lang said they will work with schools, PRUs, youth offending teams and the police in terms of getting referrals to the centre which he hopes will open in September 2014.
The unit will include classrooms, workshops and therapy rooms and the charity is already interviewing candidates to teach English at the centre.
Young people who attend will also be asked to sign a promise that no guns, drugs, knives or any other weapons will be brought into the centre.
This is to prevent any tensions occurring between potential rivals.
It is hoped the centre will reinforce the work the charity already does with young people in preparing them for the world of work.
There are also plans to create links with local businesses and set up apprenticeship placements for the young people to gain experience in a working environment.
Mr Lang said: "In terms of education provision we just noticed there was a gap. We saw that since the spending review things like Connexions and other education providers were hit hard due to cuts.
"Basically the average 16-year-old who is excluded from school has not got anywhere to go. We want to fill that gap.
"For Croydon it will be something that is fairly unique. We have been fortunate to see some of our young people make it into employment and start providing for themselves which is fantastic.
"We want to see more successes like that."
For more information go to young-london.org.
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