A range of further education courses are being held in Larne in the New Year in a bid to support “hard-to-reach” unemployed adults.
LEDCOM is providing a programme called Learner Access and Engagement (LAE), with courses taught by tutors from the Northern Regional College.
It is designed to target so called “hard-to-reach” adults – who are out of work and have few or no qualifications – and aims to encourage them to undertake suitable courses to help prepare them for employment or additional learning.
Laura McCourt of LEDCOM told the Times: “We are delivering this programme on behalf on the Northern regional College.
“It is a great way for people who are out of work to gain new qualifications, which will in turn improve their CVs and enhance their employability prospects.
“The programme started in November 2013, and we had an extremely successful first year, with 336 unemployed learners enrolling on courses, of which 131 were from the Larne borough.”
Courses are delivered at LEDCOM’s premises at Bank Road and Willowbank, as well as at Centre Point on Pound Street. Larne Borough Council has also agreed to support the scheme by providing the use of a range of venues.
“The use of these council-owned venues, including the Market Yard, Larne Museum, and a number of community centres and rural locations, will enable us to reach more people,” Laura added.
The programme offers a total of seven courses, including Essential Skills in Maths, English or ICT, interior design, counselling and more.
Priority is given to those people who do not hold more than one level two qualification (equivalent to a C grade at GCSE).
Some of the courses on offer are free of charge, while others have a fee of £5 for eligible learners.
However, Laura added: “There is also a huge demand for the course from local people who don’t meet the criteria, so LEDCOM also offers a limited number of places to non-eligible learners.”
Courses, which begin in January and February, range from three weeks to 18 weeks, and are normally delivered over three-hour sessions once a week.
The programme is being delivered in the Larne, Carrickfergus, rural Newtownabbey and Moyle areas.
Anyone interested in applying for any of the courses is asked to contact Laura McCourt on 028 2827 0742 or email firstname.lastname@example.org