A new skills centre has opened in Caerphilly town centre.
ACT Training, which is located in Market Street, opened its doors on Monday, May 20.
Welsh rugby icon Jonathan Davies paid a visit to the centre, with Caerphilly AM Hefin David cutting the ribbon to mark the launch.
The site will provide young people aged between 16 and 18 a range of trainee programmes aimed at giving them the skills and training needed to enter the working world.
ACT Training also has centres on Pontygwindy Industrial Estate in Caerphilly and in Blackwood, as well as various other places across Wales.
Rugby legend Davies, who is an ambassador for ACT Training, told Caerphilly Observer: “I’m pleased whenever we open a facility. I think that it’s important to give kids opportunities – not everyone is cut out for GCSEs, A-Levels and university life.
“With a presence here, kids can actually walk past, come in, have a chat and see what’s available to them.
“A lot of kids don’t even know what they want to do and they come in here and it opens their eyes.
“The reason I became involved was to raise the awareness of it because I started working life as an apprentice painter and decorator.”
Dr David said: “It’s very good that it’s opening in the town centre. The fact there’s a training centre that young people can walk past and drop in to find out what they can get is really, really, important.
“I think you can see the value of it in the number of young people who came to the opening to find out what was happening.
“This is the kind of thing we need to bring learning to the community and that’s exactly what this does”
ACT founder and Chief Executive, Andrew Cooksley MBE, said: “ACT are fully committed to supporting young people fulfil their career potential and our new Caerphilly centre will do just that.
“As well as providing fantastic training and connecting our learners with local employers, it’s also about helping our young people become happier and more engaged citizens.”
Richard Spear, Managing Director at ACT Training, said: “This is a critical time in a learner’s life and we want to help them progress.
“What we offer is not like college – it’s tailored towards individual needs. It’s more nurturing than college.
“We want to help people develop skills, get into college or find apprenticeships.
Regional Centre Manager, Bethany-Kate Clapp, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for youth in the area.
“It’s great to prepare them for the world of work and nice to be able to be involved and to be in the centre of Caerphilly.
“I’m looking forward to getting started. It’s an exciting new venture for us all.
Facilities Manager Emma Page said: “I hope learners enjoy their time here and feel inspired, learn new skills and make new friends.
The centre will be open between 8.30am and 4.30pm from Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am to 4pm on Fridays.