A NEW coaching academy is being launched to set jobseekers on the track back to work.

It will be launched on Friday at Leigh Sports Village where national training provider, Inspire 2 Independence, opens its doors.

Leigh MP and Health Minister, Andy Burnham, will cut the ribbon and present awards at the official launch.

The Mayor, Cllr Mark Aldred, who attended a Wigan launch last week, said: "The confidence of those who attended this course was apparent as it raised their aspirations.

"The techniques shown were fantastic and really helped the 'players' when going for interviews.”

Inspire 2 Independence (i2i), which is backed by Wigan Council, has pledged to secure work for 5000 by 2012 through sport.

It will support 1200 individuals over the next two years with a minimum of 600 securing sustainable work with over 200 local employers.

Mr Burnham who has pledged his support for the scheme said: “Work is about so much more than income – it’s about self-esteem, pride, dignity and independence too.

“Inspire 2 Independence, will provide real help now to build up skills through nationally recognised qualifications to help sustain job seekers in work.

“During the current economic downturn, we all have to work harder to ensure that people with personal barriers to the labour market get the extra help they need to avoid them being locked out of the chances of work and improve their personal self esteem and confidence.”