Activate Learning has been awarded funding to support training for people who are unemployed and to upskill those with jobs who want to develop new skills across Oxfordshire.
The group, which runs the City of Oxford College and Banbury and Bicester College, successfully applied for funding in excess of £3million over the next two years from the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to provide the training.
The Employability Skills project will be targeted at the county’s unemployed, aims to provide every learner that takes part with a breakdown of the areas where they have a skills gap and a plan to reduce it, access to vocational courses with actual qualifications and coaching to help them find paid employment.
The Skills Support for the Workforce project will allow businesses to work with Activate Learning to identify skills gaps within their workforces and provide bespoke development plans for staff. Support is also available to businesses with employees in a situation where they are at risk of redundancy.
Andy Marshall, Director of Stakeholders and Employability at Activate Learning, said he hoped as many people as possible would take advantage of this special training.
He said: “With unemployment at record lows, it’s now even more important for people to develop new skills so they have a wider variety of skills to offer to employers.
“As this is an initiative funded by the European Social Fund and the ESFA there is no cost to the learner, but the benefits are potentially life-changing.”
Activate Learning will be working with partners The Buck Project, Aspire Oxford and EMBS and stakeholders such as DWP, Oxford City Council, Cherwell District Council and OXLEP to deliver the training.
Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP, said: “A key aspect of creating – and indeed sustaining – a successful economy is to ensure those furthest away from the employment market are able to access it much more readily and effectively.
“Activate Learning and partners will be able to make a genuine impact on the Oxfordshire economy through these programmes.”