Bridport’s Fresh Start training scheme saw its first certificates awarded to hard-working learners at the Kingston Maurward Training Centre in North Mills, Bridport.

The scheme, funded by an £11,000 grant from Dorset Skills and Learning, offers unemployed adults up to 20 hours’ free support in work-related learning, coupled with one-to-one mentoring and business support and training in CV writing and interview skills.

The scheme also offers training in health and safety, first aid at work and food hygiene, with those who wish to go further being supported to gain certificates by Skills Training Bridport.

Trainer Paul Conde, who has been working with the students, said: “These are all practical skills that can significantly help towards getting a job.

“Two of our learners on the food hygiene training course have already got jobs in the industry and another is setting up her own cake business with the help of support from our business mentors.”

Dorset county councillor Ros Kayes, who helped to set up the scheme, said: “I would particularly like to thank our mentors, who have been very generous with their time and whose one-to-one support of learners has really made a difference.

“When people come to us they have often lost self confidence and guided one-to-one support is unusual to find – but the range and quality of local business people working as mentors for us is second to none and the learners are really, really grateful for the support they have received.”

Fresh Start still has funding for more free training and anyone interested can call 01308 887853 or 07920 850167 or email