Adult and community learning is a vital lifeline for learners on lockdown and will be even more important as we plan for recovery. With unemployment expected to rise as a result of the pandemic, supporting Bristol residents to learn new skills and retrain remotely will be an essential part of the city’s economic recovery in the months ahead.
So this week, I’d like to shine a spotlight on the Council’s Community Learning Team, with a big thank you to all Development Workers who are doing an amazing job maintaining contact with learners, moving courses online and developing new provision – here’s a sample of great work:
Great Course – Roof over My Head: 30 people in temporary and emergency accommodation have been invited to trial an online version of this great course with a positive response. Housing Options are back dating attendees Home Choice applications by 3 months to fit the new model. Resources are being moved online and work is underway to devise the best learning experience.
Great Learner Support – Vulnerable People’s Resettlement Scheme: One of our multilingual learning support assistants has contacted ESOL learners and talked them through the process of getting online. Attendance is now an impressive 80% and learners are engaging with the work using a mixture of Google Classroom and email. The tutor has reported that the learners are very excited and they look forward to the classes: ‘They were feeling very alone and no one was talking to them so it’s really helping them and they’re very keen to keep learning’.
Great Partnership Work – Food Poverty: A Development Worker contacted a learner who had stopped working, had received no wages for the past 4 weeks and had no money to buy food for her 4 children. The learner was signposted to “We are Bristol” Freephone number, a food bank referral was made as well as a benefits appointment with WRAMAS and a referral to the Future Bright team. Food is now being delivered and the learner has a universal credit appointment.
There are many more developments underway – including a Parent Training unit on Home Education to help parent/carers support children’s learning, and new courses for these exceptional times such as Resilience Training and Start your Own Business. Vital GREAT stuff!