Community learning is taking people back to work

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Published Date: 

23 May 2014 - 10:31

Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Learning and Development Service is helping people in Kintyre make big changes in their lives.

Support in developing new skills and confidence are combining to take people back to work – with seven unemployed people starting work or becoming self employed since the service began 18 months ago.

The council’s Policy Lead for Community and Culture, Councillor Robin Currie, said, “The council recognises the importance of education, skills and training to maximise opportunities for everyone. By providing a wide range of classes and advice, from computer skills to certificated courses and support in literacy and learning, people are being helped to make the most of themselves, their ambitions and their futures.

“The emphasis is on improving participants’ confidence and wellbeing, recognising that everyone who is part of a community can play a part in supporting and developing that community.”

Encouraging people to join a photography or gardening club can help build their confidence in getting out and about in the community, before deciding to take the next step to learn new skills and work towards employment.

A job club called The Work Shop is held in the Community Centre every Wednesday from 10.00 am until 12.00 pm with support from Community Learning and Development, and Skills Development Scotland. The centre has nine new computers, all with internet access. The Work Shop is run as a drop in so people come and go whenever they need support and it is hoped to develop the club with the involvement of local employers.

Guidance and support is also available to help people familiarise themselves with Universal Job Match, the UK Government’s new scheme to help people into work which is largely online and computer based.  This is quite a steep learning curve for those of us who have never had the need to use computers so we aim to help people prepare for this.

Other training includes certificated courses such as food hygiene and tourism which are aimed at improving job prospects in preparation for the start of the tourism season which creates a large number of job opportunities in Campbeltown and Kintyre. These skills combine to contribute to creating and sustaining a diverse and thriving economy.