Posted on Wednesday 8th November 2023
More Staffordshire adults are benefiting from a learning service which can increase employment opportunities and support household budgeting.
There were over 2,900 enrolments to courses in 2022/23 compared to just over 2,700 the previous year, an increase of eight per cent. During 2022/23 the service provided 301 courses across the county through a range of learning providers, both face-to-face and online.
The community learning service courses support people in improving their work-based skills and help their children to get the best start in life. They can help people to build confidence, especially where previous formal learning may have been a barrier.
A service progress report will be discussed by county council scrutiny committee members on Thursday November 9. It states that tutors expertly demonstrate new knowledge and skills. Innovative use of learning technologies in many courses helps learners access learning and collaborate, as well as embedding digital skills. Learners benefit from high levels of support from staff and peers, which enables them to engage effectively, and learners are well motivated.
People can find out more about the courses at the service website.
In February this year, government Ofsted inspectors rated the service as Good. Their report found that adult learners in Staffordshire have significantly benefited from flexible courses with well-developed community links. Inspectors said the curriculum was well-planned and provided meaningful content to learners.
The service includes the national adult numeracy programme Multiply. It is a three-year Government initiative from which the county council secured £4.2million, providing courses both online and in-person, easy to access and suited to people’s needs and lifestyles. Courses can help with day-to-day household tasks and budgeting.
During National Number Confidence Week this week, Staffordshire County Council is urging more people to find out more about courses on offer by visiting the Multiply courses webpage.
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said:
Our community learning team provides an invaluable service to our residents, supporting them to gain employment opportunities and manage household budgeting and day-to-day tasks.
The progress report and our recent Ofsted report recognise an excellent service to thousands of people across the county and fully deserved to receive a Good Ofsted rating.
Dedicated team members and the learning providers work hard to deliver high quality courses which make a real difference to people’s lives.
We hope many more people will explore them, including the Multiply numeracy programme. This is helping to improve numeracy skills at any age, increase people’s confidence and management day-to-day tasks, from household budgeting to helping children with maths homework and exam preparation.
Now the community learning team will look to further develop and improve service provision, including key aims, targets and outcomes that demonstrate our contribution to local skills needs.”