Birmingham YMCA has started building work on a new £4 million apartment block to help the city's young homeless people get back on their feet.

The block of 34 apartments, with training rooms and community facilities, are for 16 to 25 year olds and is phase two of the YMCA's Orchard development in Reservoir Road, Erdington.

The project will sit next to phase one, a distinctive, 83-flat housing scheme which opened three years ago.

Worcestershire-based construction company Speller Metcalfe is leading the project and work is set to be completed by Christmas 2015.

The development has been launched courtesy of a £1 million Homes and Communities Agency grant, plus funds raised from a variety of trusts and £1.9 million finance from the Charity Bank.

YMCA development director Eddie Hughes said: "We are very excited to have started building work.

"The second half the of build will continue the modular and sustainable features of phase one, including its striking architecture, in order to provide comfortable yet affordable accommodation for young people from across Birmingham.

"But more than that, it will also allow us to develop and extend our training and volunteering opportunities to help get more young people, from The Orchard but also beyond, back into work "

Chief executive Alan Fraser added: "This extension of The Orchard is excellent news for the city as it provides much-needed housing at a time of unprecedented housing shortage.

"The existing facilities have become a community asset for Erdington and we have no doubt that the second phase will only further support the local and wider community."