A qualification can be the perfect next step for someone looking to really get on in life.
As well as wanting to improve and develop their literacy and digital skills, some service users want to gain a qualification to improve their employment prospects.
A key element of the Skills Programme is to ensure that people have the opportunity to continue their learning and increase their employability through accredited learning. This is especially important as many people using Thames Reach services have had bad experiences with formal education in the past.
The Skills Programme has set out to improve access to formal accredited courses, partnering with educational institutions to provide flexible, tailored learning opportunities.
Cardboard Citizens are champions or participatory art and theatre, working with homeless people in London since 1991. Thames Reach have partnered with the group to deliver maths lessons to people who lack confidence in their numeracy skills and have no qualification. The delivery is designed to help participants overcome their fear of maths and the intimidation that comes with previous experience of failure and dropping out, and the content is geared towards day-to-day, practical application of numeracy.
Upon completion of the course, service users receive an entry-level 3 qualification.
City Lit is an adult education college in central London offering a range of part-time short courses every year. The college started delivering two accredited courses at the Employment Academy in January 2015, focusing on digital and numeracy skills. Since then, six further accredited courses have taken place, with a new Level 1 certificate added from January 2018.
The partnership with City Lit is extremely effective; Thames Reach’s understanding of the needs of homeless and vulnerable people meant that these courses can be designed specifically to suit them.