A new 'skills hub' will offer in-house training at Epsom's Job Centre, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) have announced.

EEBC said the scheme is designed to combat homelessness and the high cost of living in the area that has led to many people living in council-funded temporary emergency accommodation.

Under the Skills Hub initiative, that will be hosted at Epsom's Job Centre Plus, training and support for work will be provided via the Surrey Life Long Learning Scheme.

"Whilst unemployment is low within the borough, there are many households living in council provided emergency temporary accommodation who just cannot afford the comparatively high housing costs of this area as they are either unemployed or in low paid or fragile employment," said Councillor Eber Kington, chairman of the Strategy and Resources Committee.

"Residents of Epsom and Ewell live in an area with high educational attainment, fantastic employment opportunities and good connectivity with London and the rest of the country.

"The skills hub initiative will help a small minority of residents who need additional assistance into better employment, helping to make day to day living costs, including the cost of accommodation, more affordable," he added.

An EEBC spokesperson said that the Skills Hub at the job centre would allow staff to tailor training to a user's specific needs and aspirations.

"A rolling programme of tutor led and/or online workshops will be provided and, depending on the individuals’ needs, these could include literacy, numeracy, language and digital training plus business start-up and self-employment guidance and money management coaching," they said.

Responding to a request from the Comet, EEBC revealed that the Skills Hub would cost the council £43,000 for the first year of the project, "which will then be reviewed to see how effective the investment has been".