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Community learning to continue improving lives


More than £2million is set to be invested into helping more than 4,000 people gain new skills, find a job or gain an apprenticeship.

Gloucestershire County Council already provides community learning and adult skills programmes through its adult education service and partner organisations.

Today cabinet approved a new funding agreement with the Skills Funding Agency for the next academic year.

Work will be targeted at providing courses for adults with low skills levels. The council will also focus on helping people to gain apprenticeships and delivering courses achieve qualifications in English, Maths and vocational skills to help more people into employment.

For the academic year 2016/17, the service will concentrate the funding to prioritise those with the greatest educational and economic needs. It is hoped that the service will interact with over 4,000 adults, aged 19 and above.

Community learning courses have a large impact across the county. In a survey in 2014, over 84 per cent of adults who had participated felt that the learning helped them to improve their job or work prospects. The survey also found that of participants, 63.4% felt they had more self-confidence, and 57.5% felt that they had an improved health and sense of well being.

Peter Holmes, head of extended learning, said: "The adult education grant from the Skills Funding Agency enables the council to provide learning opportunities and skills for those wanting greater independence, those seeking work and those wanting to improve their basic skills in work.

"The grant helps us to provide the skills infrastructure we need for a thriving economy in Gloucestershire."

Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people and strategic commissioning, said: "We are always looking at ways to improve the opportunities and lives of those who may not feel they have the necessary skills to improve their own quality of life.

"I hope we can make a substantial difference to even more individuals and families in the next year, offering them the skills and qualifications they need to either find work, live independently, or improve their quality of living."

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