CHILDREN'S charity Barnardo's has opened a new employment training centre in Bradford.

Its employment, training and skills Yorkshire service will provide training and development for young people, many of whom are not in employment, education or training.

The service will be based at the charity's site in West Riding House, Cheapside.

The new site held an open day where young people and staff demonstrated the range of subjects they learn.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Abid Hussain, also attended the event and officially opened the new service on Friday.

The service was previously called Allergrange and moved into the city centre from its previous Allerton base in January this year.

Last year, it supported 80 young people aged between 16 and 19 to complete accredited qualifications, with 81 per cent of them progressing into employment, an apprenticeship or further education.

It also supported 101 young people aged from 18 to 24 to find full-time employment.

Manager James Robinson said the facility will boost the number of youngsters it helps get back into full-time employment.

He said: "The new larger city centre facility will mean we can increase the number of young people we work with – we're aiming for at least 220 a year to successfully move on to jobs or further education.

"If you're a young person aged 16 to 24, or a school leave this summer and looking to get onto the career ladder, please just call in to find out more about the opportunities available.

"We're always looking for local employers to provide work-experience, apprenticeships or jobs for young people."

Barnardo's runs skills and training programmes across the country that help more than 5,000 people get into employment.

Laila Batool, 18, who is an apprentice in business administration, praised the service provided by Barnardo's in Bradford.

She said: "I used to think that I can't do it, but I'm so much more confident now.

"If it hadn't have been for Barnardo's, I don't know what I would have done.

"With my apprenticeship, it's not just a job, it's about the additional training."

The charity's new service builds on its long-standing presence in Bradford.

Barnardo's Turnaround service is celebrated 21 years of supporting young people in the Bradford area last month who have suffered or been at-risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

When it began, the project was the first CSE service anywhere in the country, called Streets and Lanes before being re-named in 2006.

It has helped around 4,000 children and young people across the district since opening in 1995.

Bradford Turnaround, based on Manchester Road, received cash from the Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust over the last four years.

For more information on Barnardo's in Bradford, call 01274 722033.