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Almost 1,000 people are now working thanks to courses run by Cambridgeshire County Council

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Nearly 950 people have moved into employment after completing courses run by Cambridgeshire Skills over a 12 month period.

In total, between August 2020 and July 2021, 1,146 learners progressed either into the world of work, further education or volunteering. Of those, 865 are in paid employment, while 78 went into self-employment, 58 into voluntary work and 145 to a higher level education course.

Cambridgeshire Skills is the county council’s adult learning and skills service and is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

Councillor Hilary Cox-Condron. (53499891)
Councillor Hilary Cox-Condron. (53499891)

Its aims are to retrain and reskill local residents, provide education and training opportunities to those who are furthest away from learning and work, and provide support for post-Covid social and economic recovery.

It does this via a network of community hubs, including March Community Centre which recently re-opened after a revamp which included three additional teaching rooms, a large open plan reception area and two new office spaces.

And investment into the service not only benefits local residents, it has been found to deliver £4.57 of social return for every £1 spent.

A report outlining the progress made by Cambridgeshire Skills was discussed by members of Cambridgeshire County Council’s communities, social mobility and inclusion committee yesterday (Thursday).

Committee vice-chair Councillor Hilary Cox Condron said: “Despite the challenges of the pandemic Cambridgeshire Skills has continued to deliver excellent courses which are helping people into work.

“Covid has left many people either seeking employment or eager to change their profession. Cambridgeshire Skills is playing an important role in supporting them, as well as upskilling residents, something which is vitally important as we look to recover from the pandemic.”

One of the people to benefit from Cambridgeshire Skills is Anne, who took on an employability course after she moved from Greenwich council to Cambridgeshire.

She said: “I received career advice, sorted my CV and learned how to fill in application forms and do supporting statements and covering letters. I have gone onto complete an ICT Level 2 qualification and Maths Level 2.

“As a result of my learning, I have become much more confident in my abilities, especially IT, and have just been successful in getting a job with Fenland District Council as an administrator.”

Cambridgeshire Skills is also administering the internal delivery of the council’s Apprenticeship Levy and it is working with a number of local employers to develop staff training and retention programmes.

It has also piloted a job club in Huntingdonshire and commissioned voluntary and community organisations to deliver family learning grants.

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