Vinci has opened a new construction training centre aimed at tackling gun and knife crime in Smethwick, West Midlands.
The training hub, created to reduce crime and get ex-offenders back into employment, is funded by Vinci Facilities, the construction firm's social housing business, plus housing market renewal pathfinder Urban Living, and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.
It will be run by Future Skills Sandwell, part of the council's regeneration and skills division, and aims to train up to 80 ex-offenders a year.
Research commissioned by Urban Living highlighted a gap in training and employment provision for the most marginalised, specifically identifying ex-offenders and those at risk of being involved in gun and knife crime.
Tony Raikes, managing director of Vinci Facilities, said: “Vinci Facilities has been working in Sandwell for over five years, refurbishing local authority homes, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to invest in a project such as this, to provide an educational facility that is tackling the barriers to employment that so many ex offenders experience.
“It is great to see that local authorities such as Sandwell are not only focused on improving their housing stock but are also dedicated to using their construction programmes to tackle long term unemployment, rehabilitation and helping to break the cycle of crime for many repeat offenders.”