Adult learning week is in full swing and people in Leeds are taking full advantage of the opportunities available.
Over 5,300 adult learners are already enrolled on a community learning course in Leeds, and have accessed over 1,100 courses. Out of all the courses that have been enrolled on, 84% of people have been successful in completing their courses.
Leeds City Council has recently received further funding from the Skills Funding Agency, which will allow for a number of new sub contracts to go out to a wide range of learning providers across the city for the next year.
There are a range of courses that learners can access, including health and well being, pottery, playing with language, computer courses, fashion and design and art classes among others.
Sharon Benson, 59, from Stanningley in Leeds, is one example of how community learner opportunities can offer adults confidence and extra skills to help them move forward in life.
Sharon was a shy and timid person who decided to attend confidence building and self esteem courses at Swarthmore Education Centre. Sharon has learnt so much from these classes, she is more confident and no longer suffers from a bad stutter. She has learnt so much from the opportunities she has taken that she has recently gone back to these classes to inspire others with similar problems, and is also undertaking training to become a coach on the McGuire programme to help people with stutters.
“I used to want to just sit in a corner and not speak to anyone because I was so ashamed of my stutter.
“The confidence building courses were such a massive help to me and really pushed me in the right direction.
“I am now studying for my Maths and English qualifications at Leeds City College with a view to eventually going on to university. I have also just taken an IT course with Learn Direct which was a great help.
“I know now, that with help from a number of courses and people along the way, that nothing is unobtainable.
Sharon has now completed nine different course and interest groups since finding her voice, and has proved to be a great role model for others struggling with a similar problem
Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for jobs and skills said:
“Adult learning across the city is a real priority for the council, and it is excellent that we have been able to secure funding for the next year.
“There are so many examples of adults who are accessing learning opportunities with a wide range of the city’s providers, and Sharon is an excellent example of how taking these opportunities can really benefit you. She has made such huge progress in a short period of time, and really is a good role model for what taking a chance can do for you.
“There are so many reasons to access learning in the city, whether it be for personal fulfilment, civic participation or community development, there are many options to choose from.”
For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450