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Skills for Life – Shop for the future in Wigan town centre
Tuesday 4th August, 2009

Wigan’s premier shopping venue The Grand Arcade is the place to go for the best in fashion, lifestyle and glamour.
But now there’s another reason to visit the hugely successful town centre mall…because it could lead you to a better future.

This week, Wigan Life’s state-of-the-art new Wigan Skills Shop threw open its doors for the very first time.
Situated in the heart of the main concourse of The Grand Arcade (opposite River Island), the Skills Shop offers the very best advice and guidance on jobs and careers, qualifications and training and support with vital skills such as Maths and English.

The ultra-modern advice and guidance service is the result of a partnership between Wigan Council, Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust, the Learning and Skills Council and the Grand Arcade.

The partners successfully bid for almost £1M in funding to create the Skills Shop within The Grand Arcade.
The Skills Shop offers free face-to-face advice with professionally trained advisors, internet access and online support with searching for job and training opportunities. It is also the new home to Wigan’s young people’s advice and guidance centre Connexions.

It offers a training area and confidential meeting space along with an extensive library of reference books for use by all.

Skills Shop manager Alan Jones says: “This really is the future face of the advice and guidance centre in our borough. It’s an exciting innovation to locate this type of public service centre right in the heart of a popular and successful shopping complex but one that we believe will be extremely successful.

“We want the Skills Shop to be a friendly and attractive place for people to visit and get the help they need. The overall aim is to help people reach their full potential and make sure local people do not miss out on any job opportunities that may come along.”

The new Wigan Skills Shop is based on an existing model that has already proved hugely successful in Leigh and Marsh Green.

Both have already helped many local residents find new employment and training opportunities in new developments such as the Leigh Sports Village.

An earlier version of the Wigan Skills Shop also helped many local people find new career opportunities in the Grand Arcade itself.

Grand Arcade Manager John Sanson says: “We’re delighted to welcome the Wigan Skills Shop to the Grand Arcade family. The ethos behind the Grand Arcade is to be much more than a shopping complex but to contribute to and be part of the wider community.

“We are fully supportive of any initiative to help improve people’s prospects in the borough and in due course we may even be welcoming new members of staff who have come to us from the Wigan Skills Shop.”
The Wigan Skills Shop is situated at Unit 30 in the Grand Arcade and is open Monday to Saturday 9am till 5pm (open until 8pm on Thursdays).
For more information please call in or call 01942 827826.

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