Reading addresses high migration and skills shortages

Posted on the 13th September 2018

In Reading 3 organisations; Reading Borough Council’s Adult Education College – New Directions, Reading Community Learning Centre and Reading Refugee Support were supported by the Controlling Migration Fund from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

The fund was launched in November 2016 to help local authorities mitigate the impacts of recent migration on communities in their area.

The three organisations are working together to address two inter-related sets of problems:

1. High migration, low English language skills
2. Skills shortages

To help people integrate and improve their English language skills as well as supporting people into work, the partners involved are offering a combination of activities including: Homework clubs, pop up/drop-in groups, one to one support, informal language and reading/writing skills classes and also formal qualification learning leading to skills for the workplace qualifications. This important work is already having an impact:

“When I first encountered this young adult at Reading Refugee Support Group he was a scared and vulnerable, he had experienced significant trauma in his life. His English was poor and he had a bleak outlook on his own future. He joined our Drop in English Conversation class to build his confidence as well as attending the local Further Education College. Over time he has become open minded, able to share his ideas with others. His confidence has come on leaps and bounds and he hopes to apply for a scholarship with Reading University in the near future.”

Reading Refuge Support Group Drop-In Coordinator

Two learners have progressed onto another project called “Oxfam Future Skills Partnership” and have completed work experience placements in Oxfam shops. The attached photo shows the pre-placement training with Oxfam.

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