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College to offer 1,000 free course places to get adults back into work after coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 15:50 21 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:15 22 June 2020

The new Energy Skills Centre at the Lowestoft campus of East Coast College. Picture: East Coast College

The new Energy Skills Centre at the Lowestoft campus of East Coast College. Picture: East Coast College

East Coast College

While many continue to tackle the short-term, immediate impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a coastal college is looking to the future in an effort to help their community.

East Coast College chief executive and principal Stuart Rimmer. Picture: East Coast CollegeEast Coast College chief executive and principal Stuart Rimmer. Picture: East Coast College

East Coast College have launched a ‘Retrain, Reskill and Restart Fund’ to offer 1,000 free course places to get adults back into work.

The fund is aimed at those who have lost their jobs during lockdown, or those thinking about a change of direction in their work lives.

Stuart Rimmer, chief executive and principal, said: “It’s important that adults in our community are able to access advice and support to think about their next steps.

“We are committed to helping our community, both individuals and businesses, to recover as quickly as possible.

“We want to help people retrain, reskill and restart.

“It’s essential for individuals, families and to help our economy get going.

“Many of the courses have been designed as a way of getting into a new role or even a new sector of work.”

The courses on offer include digital skills, English and maths, engineering, plastering, personal training and an introduction to the wind sector.

The college will also offer the opportunity to develop CV and interview skills.

Mr Rimmer said: “The advice, combined with the training, will be a powerful combination to help adults take the next step.

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“Sadly, we have seen some businesses close, but we can support people from day one of unemployment or redundancy to help get back into work as quickly as possible.

“We encourage everyone to step forward and talk to us and find out how we can help.

“We can also help local businesses by helping their staff learn essential digital skills, technical training in essentials, such as infection control, health and safety and mental health awareness skills while on fulough.

“We are offering every local business a free training needs plan to help secure their future.”

The £250,000 scheme has been created from adult education funding, European social funds, and part of the Norfolk Community College Building Better Opportunities funding, as well as in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions.

Sheila Oxtoby, chief executive of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “It is excellent to see the launch of a reskill, restart and retraining fund for the residents of the borough.

“It directly supports the recovery work which is being undertaken by partners across Great Yarmouth in helping our local economy to restart and adapt following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It helps address an immediate need, but also meets our ongoing ambition for residents to have more opportunities to upskill and retrain and have career pathways leading to greater choice and enhanced career opportunities.

“I commend the work of East Coast College in quickly putting this programme together at a time when it is most needed.”

The free places will be open to those living in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, with applications open from Tuesday, June 23.

Saul Humphrey, chairman of the New Anglia LEP’s Building Growth group, said: “The college’s responsiveness to the current and future construction sector is reflected in this forward thinking approach to the skills need and opportunities for retraining and employment.”

Jennifer Cushion, president of Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce, added: “It is positive to see the college being so proactive in meeting local needs at this time.”


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