From education to employment

Put learning and skills on the agenda, Crisis say

A homeless persons charity has issued a warning to the government – maximise access to learning in order to combat homelessness.

Via its Weapons of Mass Instruction campaign, Crisis calls for an investment in learning and skills at national and local levels as a key route out of homelessness.

Shaks Ghosh, Crisis Chief Executive, says: “Our work at Crisis gives us first hand experience of the massive difference that learning and skills can make to the lives of homeless people”.

According to new Crisis research, Missed Opportunities, a third of homeless people have no qualifications and more than half want to take part in learning and skills activities. Only one fifth do so.

In addition to basic skills courses, homeless people require flexible learning models, such as budgeting for independent living, the Certificate in Self Development through Learning or drop-in art classes.

The benefits of learning include improved mental health, social reintegration and employability, while the Government reaches policy targets and the taxpayer saves money.

For an investment of £206, for example, the Government could save the cost of a tenancy failure (around £2,000), lost economic output of £230 a week and an anti-social behaviour incident at £204.

Crisis also suggests that a new national fund would encourage voluntary organisations working with vulnerable groups, such as drug and alcohol misusers, to work together.

“We owe it to these vulnerable learners to keep up the constant struggle for recognition, funding and results” adds Shaks Ghosh.

“Our Weapons of Mass Instruction campaign demonstrates that learners are only hard to reach if those with the money and expertise look in the wrong places”.

Annabel Hardy.

Tomorrow – Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams exclusive with FE News

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