From education to employment

Event Highlights Benefits for Area of Successful Learning and Skills Strategy

The Lancashire town of Pendle held a community information event for residents, volunteers and community organisations on Tuesday 11th April.

The meeting was held at the Northern Technologies Conference Centre by the Pendle Learning Network and funded by the Learning Skills Council (LSC). In February, the first learning directory and web-learning portal were both launched, providing Pendle residents with access to further education opportunities. Since then, a growing number of users have been taking advantage of the free learning opportunities provided by the Pendle Learning Network.

Its success has boosted its popularity immensely, and because of this, a Summer and Autumn directory are also planned with an increase in courses available, including employment skills, exercise classes, stress management, English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) and basic ICT.

Growing Popularity and Coverage

As its popularity has grown, the directory has expanded to include the Pendle Community Network, Community Accounting Services, East Lancs Adult Learning, The Shaw Trust, Pendle Borough Council, Pendle Training, Learndirect, the Primary Care Trust, Nelson and Colne College, Pendle Leisure Trust, Pendle Women’s Forum and many more.

Wendy Holden of the LSC, who attended the evening, said: “This is a great opportunity for the people of Pendle to access free learning and Pendle Learning Network provides an easy route for people who may not have accessed education for a number of years to come along and see what is available. It also provides the opportunity for the many volunteers and community groups in Pendle to develop their skills and empower their communities to make a real difference.”

Promising Signs

At the meeting, the attendees were able to meet the various learning providers and enquire about the available courses. Every person that registered was entered into a free prize draw to win a brand new Fujitsu laptop. The winner was drawn on the night by Wendy Holden from the LSC.

The turnout at the event was large, which is always a promising sign. It is clear that there is a large interest in further education for adults and events like this help to increase its accessibility to those who until recently might not of known how to apply for certain courses, or even knew which courses there are available. Hopefully, many more towns will benefit from such events, which now seem likely as due to the positive response which the organisers received in Pendle.

Paul Keely

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