A FIRM teaching forklift truck driving, lorry driving and construction will open a training centre in Clacton.

ALM Training, based on Colchester’s Severalls industrial estate, will set up a facility at the Tendring Skills Centre, formerly Bishops Park College, in Jaywick Lane.

It has received EU funding through young people’s charity CXK and hopes to open the centre next month.

Chris Fletcher, training and project manager at ALM, said: “This project is very important for a town like Clacton where there is a high number of young people who are unemployed.

“The focus is on employment skills and support and we also carry out mock interview with employers.

“There is ever increasing demand for a qualified workforce, but there has been a sharp decline in funding and opportunity young people, who are experiencing a more challenging employment landscape.”

ALM Training has an £80,000 mobile forklift truck and digger simulator, which it unveiled at a jobs fair at Clacton Town Hall in November.

The simulators give youngsters the chance to try their hand at plant work and work towards a forklift truck certificate.

Other programmes will include training in warehousing and storage, health and safety and event planning.

Education bosses have welcomed the investment in the wake of the impending closure of TBG Learning, which helps jobseekers, and particularly youngsters, get qualifications and find work.

TBG is set to shut branches in Carnarvon Road, Clacton, Southway, Colchester and Braintree Road, Witham in March after its funding was cut.

One in three unemployed people in Tendring are aged 18 to 25.

John Clay, chairman of the Tendring Education Trust, said: “I am delighted ALM Training has been able to extend its provision to young people in Tendring.

“This will really help to address the issues left by the closure of TBG Learning.

“We have a large number of unemployed people in Clacton and need to provide these kind of opportunities to help them gain the right skills to find employment.”