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'Learning Works' Project declared a triumph in helping unemployed

Last updated: 2.32pm, Thursday 24th May 2012 by

A trail-blazing initiative to help the unemployed learn new skills and improve their job prospects has been declared an overwhelming success.

Nine long-term unemployed people form the east end of Glasgow last week completed their studies at John Wheatley College. And they gave the pioneering project and overwhelming thumbs up as they marked their achievement at a 'Celebration of Learning' event at the College.

Some already have interviews for jobs while others are adding to their qualification with further learning opportunities.

The 'Learning Works' initiative was led by Thenue Housing, John Wheatley College and the regeneration agency Clyde Gateway, who all worked together after £80,000 in cash was obtained to fund it. This money came fron The Scottish Government's Wider Role Fund and Clyde Gateway.

The project was aimed at unemployed people in the area of the east end served by Clyde Gateway.

The course included computer skills, health and wellbeing, digital art, personal development, communications, numeracy and literacy.

A new intake of students for Learning Works will take place in September to help more local long term unemployment people in the east end.

Help with travel costs was provided and State benefits were entirely unaffected by joining the course. It produced a recognised qualification from the SQA.

The awards to those who took part were presented by Alan Inglis, Vice Principal of the College.

The course was delivered mainly at the East End Healthy Living Centre in Bridgeton but also at John Wheatley College's East End Campus in Haghill.

Former machinist Marie Fletcher from Bridgeton joined the course after she lost her job when the company she worked for folded as a result of the recession.

Marie said: "The whole experience was wonderful. Learning new skills while knowing it will help our employment prospects is very worthwhile. We all found that learning at John Wheatley College was a great experience and to have completed the course and received our Awards makes you feel fantastic!”

Alan Sherry, Principal of John Wheatley College said: "The College is delighted and proud to be associated with the Learning Works programme and its impressive learners. Apart from all of their hard work and commitment, the core of their success has been the partnership approach which has ensured support for each of the learners as they need it. Thenue are to be congratulated on the level of input from their experienced and skilled staff, as are our own teaching staff.

"The additional funding from both Clyde Gateway and the Wider Role Fund has been necessary to help develop the programme and allow a second group of learners to be recruited and given this excellent opportunity to move towards employment. We look forward to having them here and congratulate all the students who have made a positive move forward with Learning Works."

Charlie Turner, Chief Executive of Thenue, said: “Thenue Housing is proud to have played a key role in Learning Works. It shows all too clearly that a housing association like ourselves does so much more than simply collecting the rent and building houses.

“We consider helping communities and the people who live there an essential part of the work we do.”

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