From education to employment

Minister for European Social Funding Visits Somali Women’s Project

The European Social Funding Programme supports many initiatives across the country, and today Minister for ESF and Parliamentary Undersecretary of State James Plaskitt MP acknowledged the fine work being done in London at an awards ceremony.

The ceremony, which featured Mr. Plaskitt giving awards recognise the progress made, was in recognition of the work of a number of groups across the nation’s capital who come together to help Somali women move straight into jobs with confidence. Many of the women are lone parents and former refugees, and now, thanks in part to the ESF funded scheme, they are equipped with the skills, qualifications, confidence and experience to find and stay in employment.

The Project and a Learner

The project is run by a partnership led by Account3 Womens Consultancy, which also includes other programmes such as “Back to Basics Somali Refugee Training”, the “Ocean Somali Community Association” and “Somali Teachers Group”. The project is funded by the Learning and Skills Councils (LSCs) in London through the ESF Objective 3 Pan-London Programme, managed by ECOTEC (as is mentioned in another feature right here at FE News).

The Pan London Somali Employment & Training Project is based in Bethnal Green, East London, which supports the economic and educational development of women through improving their access to information, vocational training, business development support, welfare advice, careers guidance and access to resources in general.

One of the beneficiaries is Sofia, a Somali woman, who said: “I am studying towards my NVQ Level 2 in Childcare, I love coming to the centre, which is welcoming and a comfortable environment as there are only women here. The project helps women whatever their backgrounds, I am really enjoying my work experience and hope to gain full time employment when I am qualified ““this course will definitely help me in the future.”

James Plaskitt Praises Successes

Two of the women have already begun to work part time whilst continuing their training, and the Minister praised their hard work, saying: “These women have worked very hard to get to this stage. Many of them are refugees from war-torn Somalia and had to face considerable hardships in order to build a new life in an alien country.”

He continued: “The Somali community in London faces a host of challenges and is one of its poorest ethnic groups. This project plays an instrumental role in fostering the integration of Somali women in the capital.”

Jethro Marsh

Praise inclusive projects in the FE Blog!

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