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Regional ESOL hub REACH launched at Cardiff and Vale College

(l-r)ESOL student Sumona Akther, REACH ESOL hub Manager Mary Ann Hale, Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan, CAVC Principal Kay Martin, ESOL student Elly Maria Galves Ramirez

Minister for Welsh Lanuage and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan has visited Cardiff and Vale College to launch REACH – a new one-stop shop for learners on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses in the Capital Region.

REACH – Regional ESOL Assessment Central Hub – is a Creative Solutions Pilot Project being delivered in partnership between CAVC and Adult Learning Wales. It is a central hub, located in the College’s City Centre Campus on Dumballs Road, that acts as a referral point for all organisations across Cardiff and a link between all ESOL delivery partners.

Designed to provide a consistent and efficient approach to ESOL referrals across Cardiff and the Vale, REACH will assess people who want to enrol on an ESOL course and assign them to the right level of provision. By acting as a central point of contact it will reduce ESOL waiting lists and improve progression pathways and outcomes.

Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan said: “The ability to speak English is vital to enable people to integrate effectively and it also empowers them to take control over their lives. Addressing the demand for ESOL provision is important and I am pleased that we have been able to support this project. It will help learners to find the provision that is most suitable to them to help them effectively build their language skills.

“It is also good to see such as collaborative approach between Cardiff and Vale College, Adult Learning Wales and the third sector, and it has been lovely joining them all today for the launch of this new facility.”

Kay Martin said: “I am delighted to welcome Eluned Morgan here to open the REACH regional ESOL hub at the College. REACH will simplify the delivery of ESOL in the Capital region, making it easier for people to access the provision that is right for them while also helping them to progress on to training and education that will enable them to meet their full potential.”

The investment in the central REACH hub forms part of the College’s ongoing commitment to ESOL provision. To further ensure that provision is integrated and supports learner progression, Cardiff and Vale College is bringing all of its ESOL provision to together in one place at its City Centre Campus so that learners can benefit from the excellent facilities and support services available there.

The College is also taking ESOL provision back into the community at key community outreach centres to support engagement and progression.

The minister was joined at REACH’s official opening by representatives from Adult Learning Wales, and ACE, CAVC Principal Kay Martin, members of the College’s REACH and ESOL team and a number of learners who have already been through the assessment process and some who are at the start of their journey.

Elly Maria Galves Ramirez from Spain, is currently studying ESOL Entry Level with Cardiff and Vale College, and said: “The class is very nice and I am very happy. The teacher is very good and explains everything so that I can understand the words. REACH is very friendly, kind and understands my situation. I am very happy.”

Another of ESOL’s currentl learners, Rafael Zabinski from Poland, said: “I have met new people. I have come to learn English and to communicate better with people. I need English to help me find new customers in my work and REACH has given me English classes and helped me find courses. It’s perfect.”

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