Basic skills scheme helps jobless gain employment.
A new initiative designed to help unemployed people gain the skills
needed to get back into the world of work has been launched in
Birmingham. Skills for Living is being run by Pertemps Employment
Alliance at three offices in Smiths Wood, Sparkhill and Handsworth, and
aims to improve the numeracy and literacy of long-term unemployed
people. There are currently around 40 people enrolled on the course.
Sparkhill man Anser Mehmood, who wants to begin a career in the security
industry, recently celebrated becoming the first to complete the course,
achieving entry level three in numeracy. The 34-year-old has already
achieved qualifications in security and is looking for a permanent job.
Nin Wong, basic skills tutor at Pertemps Employment Alliance (PEA), said
the first course is proving to be very popular with local people with
more than 20 students studying for literacy, numeracy and English
language qualifications. Lessons, which take place from 9.30am to
3.30pm, are made interesting and relevant by focusing on topics such as
housing, said Nin, including looking at types of homes, reading estate
agents brochures, budgeting for bills and furniture and other subjects.
She added: "The response from learners has been really good. They
have attended regularly and have shown a high level of motivation to
achieve. "It's a new course but we have been really encouraged
by the reaction of those attending and we hope it will gain in
popularity as more people learn exactly what's available and how we
can help them. "We deliver literacy, numeracy and ESOL through
topics which learners are familiar with and will come across in daily
life, such as shopping which requires skills in estimation, calculating
change and quantities. "We may also use role play to help learners
in finding the appropriate language to use for effective communications,
or for writing for specific purposes such as complaint letters or
emailing friends." The course is open to people aged 25 and over
who are claiming Jobseekers Allowance. A training allowance, travel
expenses and lunch may be available. More information is available at
Jobcentres or by calling the PEA office in Sparkhill on 0121 325 6082.
PEA, which has offices across Birmingham and Solihull, delivers
Government-funded employment initiatives. Each year, working along
Jobcentre Plus, it helps thousands of long-term unemployed people get
back into work or into self-employment.
Anser Mehmood is looking forward to building a career in the
security industry after completing the Skills for Living course with the
help of tutor Nin Wong, of Pertemps Employment Alliance.