ACT Training and Serco have been celebrating learner success after a group of 17 passed their English Language Requirement (ELR) course.
ELR is a government initiative designed to help people across Wales improve their English language communication skills, in order to improve their prospects of obtaining employment and lead independent lives. Serco is the prime contractor in Wales delivering ELR on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) through a network of local providers, one of which is ACT.
The learners received their qualifications at a ceremony organised to mark the first year anniversary of ELR. The event, which took place in Serco’s subcontractor’s ACT’s premises in Cardiff was well-attended with representatives from Jobcentre Plus and DWP. Serco’s Business Director for Welfare Services, Aaron Henricksen, gave a speech and handed out the certificates to the delighted graduates.
Diane Davies, DWP Performance Manager, said: “I really enjoyed attending this event. It is great to see participants proudly collecting their certificates and using their new learnt skills interacting with everyone in English.”
One of the ELR graduates, Maha Hassan, was born in Scotland but was raised in Sudan, so her English was pretty poor. She moved back to the UK in July 2015 with her sister.
Maha said: “I was scared when I first came to ACT but Lucy, my tutor, was really nice to me and this made me feel better and I really enjoyed the course.
“I have a Physics degree from Sudan and I want to get a Master’s degree here and work in laser treatment.”
Meanwhile, Marwan Alrefai moved to Cardiff from Syria 11 months ago due to the war. He used to work as a salesman in Syria but wants to train as a chef as he has a keen interest and experience in cooking.
Marwan said: “Lucy is a very good teacher and has helped me to speak better English. I liked the course and I have made new friends. I am now able to go into the city centre and have coffee and speak to people, and can talk in English to people at Church. I would like to be a chef and want to train to be one.”
Lisa Edwards, Learning for Work Manager at ACT said: “At ACT we aim to deliver high impact, inspirational learning programmes and we take great pride and satisfaction in seeing our English Language Recruitment learners progress, whether that be into employment or working towards employment on our Work Ready courses.
“Many of these learners are only able to speak a few words of English when we first meet them and some have experienced, and are still battling with, some really difficult challenges and personal circumstances. ACT is here to support them in any way that we can and we are constantly finding new and innovative ways to do so to help them into employment.”
Aaron added: “I very much enjoyed the event and meeting our ELR learners. Handing out their qualifications was a proud moment for everyone; it’s not about the paper, it’s about what it represents; the skills they’ve developed, the opportunities they’ll gain to integrate in their local communities and find meaningful jobs, and the hope for a better future for them and their families.”