Adult learner award for return to work scheme
A project to help unemployed people learn new skills and get back to work has scooped a national award.
Get that Job, which is offered by Reading College and Oxford & Cherwell Valley College has been named winner of the ESF South East Project Award as part of the Adult Learners' Week awards, which recognises innovative projects and inspirational individuals. The winners will be announced this week (May 18 to 24) as part of the Adult Learners' Week celebrations.
Get that Job offers free vocational training and qualifications to unemployed people receiving means-tested benefits. Courses range in duration from one day to 20 weeks, and forms part of a four-step programme which also helps people to get ready for work and secure the job they want. A partnership with REED NCFE Job Finder Service helps students to apply for jobs before they are advertised anywhere else.
This year (2013), Reading College has been working in partnership with the new Grosvenor Casino and Tesco distribution centre to help them recruit unemployed people into positions.
Lesley Donoghue, principal of Reading College, said: "Adult Learners' Week recognises the importance of education and training whatever your age. Adults form an important part of our college community and we are committed to helping mature students develop the skills they need for employment and for life.
"Get that Job is providing a much-needed bridge for people who want to return to work but who need further skills and qualifications, and the support to achieve their ambitions. We are delighted to receive this award for the work the team is doing in the local community."
Among those to have benefited from the Get that Job programme is 44-year-old Maria Stanford.
Stanford, from Reading was referred to Reading College by the Jobcentre Plus and completed a working in business administration course before enrolling on to pre-employment training for a job at Tesco.
Maria said: "Being on Get that Job has been fantastic; the team are really nice, friendly and professional and helped me a great deal. It really prepares you for the working world.
"The mock interviews were priceless. Interviews always make me feel nervous, so it was great to practice and receive feedback. It gave me the confidence to succeed in the real interview.
"Working in the new Tesco distribution centre appealed to me because it was near to where I live and Tesco were offering parent friendly working hours. I start my new job in June, and am glad to be working for a big organisation and to progress within it."