From education to employment

Working Link wins contract to deliver programme.

A company set up seven years ago to help the unemployed find jobs has been awarded a £6 million contract from the Learning and Skills Council to provide basic literacy, numeracy, language and employability skills training to jobseekers across the North East. Working Links will run the voluntary scheme which will be available to anyone currently unemployed in the region, will help some of the most disadvantaged people in Britain.

The basic and employability skills programme will address both of these issues in some of the North East’s poorest communities. Those that complete the employability skills programme will receive an ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) accredited certificate to help market themselves to future employers. The course will include training on maintaining work standards, communicating with others in the workplace and applying for jobs. There will also be the opportunity to participate in a work experience programme.

Head of Skills for Working Links, Stuart Turner, commented, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to deliver this innovative, proactive qualification that will be recognised by employers across the region. It will go a long way to enabling people to up-skill and find sustainable employment.”

Nationally, one in five people suffers from a lack of basic literacy or numeracy; failing to attain the level of competency expected in an eleven year old. Moreover, in many deprived areas across the country a culture of worklessness exists; with a significant number of the local population having never worked or possessing little work experience.

Stuart Turner stressed that anyone looking to improve their basic literacy, numeracy or language need not fear that they will be “put on the spot” to test their knowledge in a traditional classroom atmosphere. The basic skills training will be imaginative, flexible and personalised allowing people to gain confidence in areas where they have previously been uncertain without feeling pressured.

The basic and employability skills programme begins on 1 August. Working Links are looking for innovative facilitators of learning to join them. Anyone with a CertEd or other teaching qualification that is interested in helping build futures for some the North East’s most disadvantaged communities should visit

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