A enterprising training company that draws on the expertise of churchgoers, is celebrating its first year in business.
Gospel Express Ministries, based in Hockley, uses professionals from churches across the city to train the unemployed and disadvantaged from any faith in a wide variety of vocational skills.
The not-for-profit business was founded by Deborah Harrison, a former lecturer at the Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies, who realised that she could tap into the qualifications and skills of those who attended church on a Sunday.
The business works with churches such as the Church of God of Prophecy in Nechells, the New Testament Church of God and the Birmingham Christian Centre to find qualified professionals and experts willing to lecture.
"Churches are a massive resource base," Ms Harrison said.
"We have lawyers, doctors, health visitors, nurses and musicians all who would be willing to give some time to train disadvantaged young people."
"With Gospel Express we can link up these experts with training colleges and the people who need their help."
Gospel Express works by taking training contracts from local colleges who have a remit to access disadvantaged people. The money raised by these contracts is then used to pay for training facilities and cover the costs of the trainers.
The company has so far run 50 courses to date and is due to have its first AGM this Friday.
"Our ambition now is to expand the work we're doing across the city," Ms Harrison said.
"Many churches appear to close their doors after a Sunday service, this way they members keep the doors open and get to the people who need them."
For more information go to gospelexpress.co.uk.