Holloway decorating firm unveils new training centre that will create hundreds of jobs

Jeremy Corbyn with the apprentices and improvers at K&M's new training centre.

Jeremy Corbyn with the apprentices and improvers at K&M's new training centre. - Credit: Archant

A Holloway decorating firm has today opened its purpose-built training centre to create hundreds of new jobs for school leavers and unemployed youngsters.

Jeremy Corbyn meets Kevin McLoughlin at the opening.

Jeremy Corbyn meets Kevin McLoughlin at the opening. - Credit: Archant

K&M McLoughlin, one of the country’s leading decorating company’s with more than 200 employees, will roll out its Skills for Jobs training programme at the centre in Brewery Road.

The training model, developed by CEO Kevin McLoughlin, has already created hundreds of jobs over the last five years during a pilot for more than 600 applicants.

It is hoped the new centre will encourage more people to apply and also create industry partnerships. It was opened today by Labour leader, and MP for the area, Jeremy Corbyn.

Kevin said: “‘It has been evident to me for some years that there is a skills shortage in the construction industry. We set out to try to do something about it as far as our sector is concerned.

“I believe the concept could become a model for other parts of the industry, and indeed for other industries.”

Kevin launched his firm more than 30 years ago, and has worked on huge projects including the British Museum, the Savoy Hotel, Wembley and the Emirates Stadium.

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“It is clear the way in which public contracts are now structured and costed leaves very little margin for contractors – especially those further down the supply pecking order – to plough back into training,” continued Kevin. “As a result, labour sub-contracted onto major construction and infrastructure projects is often woefully under-skilled.’

The new training centre brings all three strands of Skills for Jobs under one roof. The first is an entry-level four-week pre-employment module for school leavers and young job-seekers, which teaches key skills and disciplines required by employers.

The second is apprenticeship training, providing professional skills training for young people under 24. And the third strand is the improvers scheme, for people over 24 who are looking to learn or improve their professional decorating skills.

Mr Corbyn said: “I am really pleased to open this new centre and see a business from my own constituency taking the initiative in creating opportunities for people of all ages, especially younger workers.

“It’s so important we tackle skills shortages and get people into jobs they will enjoy and benefit from, and this is an innovative approach that shows how much can be achieved by giving people a chance to learn and improve.”

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