Employment and Skills Hub successfully supporting residents
By Sarah Wood
Gloucestershire's Employment and Skills Hub, a partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and GFirst LEP, has been going from strength to strength, as the lead cabinet member saw this week.
The hub has a physical base in Gloucester, but also provides services online, in communities and over the phone for people looking to retrain, upskill or gain employment.
The service provides a central source of information and specialist coaches, who can work with residents to provide practical support or information, either through the hub programmes or one of its partner organisations.
A tailored package and ongoing support is made available, whether a person needs training, a new career, advice, support or an apprenticeship. The service includes residents who may need specialist support to help them get into work. The only criteria to access the service is to be a Gloucestershire resident.
Since September, 172 people have benefited from the hub services and 35 have used specialist services to help them into work.
Specialist services are available through the hub, including Forwards Employment Service, which help people with disabilities, and the Gloucestershire GEM Project, delivered by 30 partners across the county. The team also works with young people in education to help them in their transition into work.
As part of the visit, the county council's Adult Education service was also showcased. The service offers different courses from upskilling people in technology and software to maths, first aid or even learning life skills like cookery or gardening and online buying and selling.
Adult Education supports some of the hardest to reach learners across the whole of the county, helping them reach their full potential. Adult education in Gloucestershire is funded exclusively from central government.
Since July, Adult Education has supported 2,147 people through 481 community-based courses and 1,156 learners through accredited skills and apprenticeships through 165 different courses.
Most recently, it has increased its ESOL (English to Speakers of Other languages) provision to support Ukrainian refugees settling into the local area, with 437 individual learners benefiting from this particular training.
Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member for education and skills, said: "It was uplifting to see the Employment and Skills Hub in action.
"The service was set up to aid economic recovery from the pandemic, but also to bring together under one roof lots of existing service referrals to well established areas like Adult Education.
"What the hub offers is truly inspiring and my thanks go out to all our hard-working staff for providing such outstanding service and support to the residents of Gloucestershire."
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