THOUSANDS of adults are gaining access to learning and job opportunities through Argyll and Bute Council.
The Council’s Adult Learning team has worked with more than 4,000 people over the past year.
It includes 2,856 adults having face-to-face learning or literacy help between 2016 and 2017 – an increase of 34 per cent on the previous year.
A total of 1,132 people also took part in activities aimed at improving their chances of getting a job.
The number of adults in community-based learning was 780 – the target was 350.
There were 823 people getting support to improve their literacy and numeracy skills – the target was 440.
There was a 28 per cent increase in those taking part in the adult learning programme who said they had achieved their learning goals.
Adults in recovery from addiction have also been provided with help to boost confidence and self-esteem, find volunteering opportunities and gain employability skills.
These have included listening skills, assertiveness training, food hygiene certificates and SQA ICT training. This has enabled trainees to set up and run a ‘welcome recovery café’ and women’s support group and several have gone on to employment.
Also, in Cowal and in partnership with the NHS, Adult Learning provided a jobs club for people who are experiencing or have had mental health issues. The aim was to introduce them to other services in the community who could help them get back to work.
Policy Lead for Communities, Councillor Robin Currie, said: “Our Adult Learning team has done a great job in trying to give as many adults as possible access to help and support to improve their skills and prepare for employment.
“It’s very fitting that one person who had had help from the team called them when he later found a job, telling them they had kick-started everything for him and thanking them for all their help. That gives us confidence that we are providing the right kind of assistance to adults who need it.
“I’m delighted we’ve been able to reach so many people, including those who are recovering from addiction or have faced mental health issues.
“It’s such an important part of what we do in making Argyll and Bute a great place in which to live, work and do business, for everyone.”