Why I love what we do; helping unemployed residents in Redditch

27th July 2020

Everyone at InterLearn knows I like to talk, so it should come as no surprise when I say that the best part of my job is getting the chance to speak to our learners. This couldn’t be truer than when I went to visit a group of learners who were completing their Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment last week. Courses like these are offered by InterLearn and funded by both our Adult Education Budget (AEB) from the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and our European Social Funding (ESF) to deliver the skills Support for the Unemployed programme across Worcestershire. The aim of these types of programmes is to help upskill those who are struggling to secure employment, seen as a huge benefit by the learners when researching the course. Everyone on this programme was looking to complete the course, with the focus of achieving their CSCS card, in the hope it will help them find work. I was keen to hear their thoughts, especially as it was the first to be conducted in a classroom environment since lockdown rules were enforced in March and relaxed again recently. Never did I realise the impact it would have on me and how it made me realise just how amazing learning is, so much so, I felt I needed to share with you all. So here goes …….

When I met with the group of learners in Redditch, I came away feeling inspired. Not only were they a great bunch of people, from all different backgrounds, but they were clearly enjoying the course and everything InterLearn was offering. With their jobs all affected by COVID19, some becoming unemployed as early as March, they were grateful to be given this opportunity of completing a fully funded course, resulting in a CSCS card. The InterLearn Delivery Team had created such a warm, safe and friendly environment, and all the learners were very clear in expressing how much they had enjoyed the learning experience, something which they felt they would never say as they didn’t enjoy school. They agreed that the interactive learning style and group sessions had been fun and engaging and they were blown away when we asked them their preferred learning style. One of the group, Ashley, who suffers with dyslexia said he had been supported throughout and never felt out of place during the whole programme. Another learner, named Josh said he felt like he had been given a second chance, that the programme was productive, and he appreciated the welcoming and friendly environment.

Heading into a training room after weeks of remote contact felt great. There was a great energy and ‘buzz’ around the room. I’m pleased to say that both myself and the learners were safe. We were all  aware of a full risk assessment being carried out (how apt for the subject being taught!) and it was obviously being adhered to, with advice and guidance clear at all times – wash hands, sanitise, keep your distance, stick to the seating plan and just be sensible. The tutors were fully briefed and in turn briefed everyone in the room; it really wasn’t an issue. And it certainly didn’t detract from what I got from attending the session. Listening to the group and witnessing the positive effect it was having on their outlook and confidence typifies just why I love InterLearn and the opportunities we give to others. They were all so appreciative of me coming in and asking their opinion, it made them feel valued, knowing their feedback actually mattered.

It just reinforces the power of learning and what it can do. These courses are free from any judgement, they are there to encourage and enable people, no matter what age/background/race and give them hope during what is clearly a very difficult time. Learning is empowering and something which should be offered to anyone.

WELL DONE InterLearn and all those who have taken part and who made it happen.

Lanny

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