Bury South MP Christian Wakeford has backed a training academy’s drive to improve communications skills among young people.

Fix Up Academy, based at Fleek Aesthetics Academy on Bury Old Road in Prestwich, is planning to train especially disadvantaged youngsters in customer service, presentation and "how to self-market".

The drive comes after a survey from the National Literacy Trust found near three-quarters of employers were reluctant to take on young people who were behind on speaking, listening, leadership and teamwork skills.

Mr Wakeford has said his time in the insurance industry before becoming involved in politics gave him the "real world experience" to speak to businesses and he backs Fix Up's work after paying the premises a visit.

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He also went to Sweeney Todds, next door to Fix Up, which will be loaning a chair and their expertise to train would-be barbers.

Cheryl Hogan, creator of Fix Up, said: “Backward communications skills are evident in so many young people, who struggle with the confidence to speak-up one-on-one or in group situations and cannot find the correct language to converse in a professional setting.

"Even their CVs are littered with grammatical mistakes and text-speak and come from totally inappropriate addresses.

“I think the advent of social media hasn’t helped but a spell in the workplace – as our MP experienced – is an effective solution.”

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Fix Up, which offers clients everything from massages to facials, is a social enterprise aimed at "supporting men at disadvantage, through accredited skills training, enrichment activities such as sport and physical and mental health counselling".

It relies upon the "goodwill of the community to provide opportunities, funding, and equipment".

Fix Up has targeted groups including men who are homeless, ex-service personnel and those tackling addictions.

Aside from learning the mechanics of professions such as barbering and tattooing, they will receive customer service wisdom from employees with decades of face-to-face experience.

This training will be backed by short courses on how to do an effective presentation, brush up CVs and succeed at job interviews.

These courses will be run by media, marketing, and HR experts.

Cheryl has also garnered the help of leading nutrition and mental health professionals as this can be the root of where poor communicating comes from.

She added: “Conditions such as autism can have a major impact but then so too can poor self-esteem which manifests itself in everything from bravado to acute shyness.

"The language and culture young people are exposed to may be appropriate where they live but not at where they work, and that is something else we will be examining."

For more information visit https://fixupacademy.co.uk/