YOUNG apprentices and trainees have a new purpose-built centre in which to learn their skills.

Redwood College (previously the Ealing Diploma and Enterprise Centre) in Greenford Road provides courses in construction, hair and beauty, bike mechanics and electronics for those aged 14-19.

Students of school age attend two days a week and work towards accredited qualifications, alongside studying for their GCSEs in school.

Young people at risk of not being in employment, education or training and students with special education needs can also study there.

At the same time as learning vocational skills, youngsters also study functional English and maths to help them prepare for the workplace.

Pass rates for individual courses are between 92% and 100% and 110 students are currently enrolled.

More than £1.5m has been invested by Ealing Council in building new workshops and classrooms, including a dedicated space for bike maintenance.

Previously, all courses were held in portable cabins on the same site. Redwood Education and Skills Ltd runs the college on behalf of the council.

Councillor Julian Bell, the council leader, said: “Ealing has a great track record of investing in its young people and Redwood College is the latest example of this.

"We want to support schools by increasing the options open to students and this centre gives their pupils a helping hand into work and further training.

“What I love about Redwood is that it allows young people to play to their strengths and follow a vocational training route if that’s what interests them most."

Julie Guest, director of Redwood Education and Skills, said: “Now the new building has been completed we will be expanding the training and courses on offer."

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