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Youth employability charity in search of new home

Youth employability skills charity Learning to Work is searching for a new home following the announcement its current base of more than 20 years, the Horlicks factory, is closing down.

Last month, multi-billion pound pharmaceutical firm Glaxo-SmithKline (GSK) announced its intention to close the factory in Stoke Poges Lane as part of restructuring plans.

Learning to Work, which started life as the Slough and Windsor Business and Education Partnership in 1993, gives school students the chance to connect with people from the business world.

It aims to plug the skills gap, equipping the next generation for the world of work and business.

The charity, which also delivers services around East Berkshire and Heathrow, works with more than 18,000 youngsters every year.

It works as a go-between for schools, businesses, councils and other organisations, running projects such as work experience, business insight days, careers and apprenticeship events, enterprise activities and more.

It also offers support for special educational needs students who are struggling with the mainstream education system.

Nancy Lalor, the charity’s CEO, wants to stay in Slough if possible and preferably would like a business to take its team of 20 people under its wing.

“We want to stay in the area desperately,” she said. “We’re embedded in this area.”

She says the borough is a prime spot because of its business links and proximity between the rest of East Berkshire and London.

While the charity will be grateful for help from anyone, it is ideally looking for a business to relocate to.

“I think we’re a good fit to be located in a business instead of a school,” she said.

“It’s about bringing the world of business alive.”

She said that working closely with other businesses including GSK and sitting in on Slough Chamber of Commerce meetings helps it keep its finger on the pulse of the area’s business world.

“What we’re going back to schools with is up to date and relevant,” she said.

She praised GSK as a ‘fantastic landlord’ which has been very understanding.

Call Nancy Lalor on 01753 502384 or email n.lalor@learningtowork.org.uk if you can help provide the charity with a new home.

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