A recent initiative to develop and improve people’s skills and confidence with their Literacy & Numeracy has been launched by Karbon Homes in partnership with Procurement solutions provider, Travis Perkins Managed Services.
The partnership aims to create opportunities and provide one to one support for young people in the Consett and Stanley areas to improve basic English and Maths skills. The project has provided a customer-led learning journey within reasonable and achievable time frames, reintroducing people to the learning environment and instilling basic skills and comprehension so they are able to progress to formal qualifications that can help them achieve in life and work.
Funding allowed the project to take place in the early months of 2021 and during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, however this didn’t stop the project from being carried through. Much of the delivery was operated online, via telephone and sharing hard copy paperwork via the post and in late April 2021, following social distancing guidelines, Karbon Homes were able to welcome customers into the newly developed ‘Skills Hub’ in Stanley Front Street.
Some online training courses that were delivered:
●Building Emotional Resilience. Within these sessions, customers discussed what it meant to be able to deal with stress and difficult situations that may occur on a regular basis. Simple activities, exercises and demonstrations were carried out on how to combat these issues aiming to improve people’s well-being holistically and build their confidence at the same time. This was hugely encouraging for our customers to bounce back and cope through difficult times. The project has tried to help build individual’s levels of resilience in a relaxed environment suitable for everyone.
●Home Schooling Support. This is an online opportunity for families to join in on topics such as simple addition and subtraction, amongst other topics – to support carers with homeschooling. This was primarily grandparents.
Other customers were supported on a one to one basis, completing initial Maths & English assessments via Basic and Key Skill Builder (BKSB) to understand the level they were starting from. This supported the team to improve and develop individual’s skills utilising BKSB online modules, and additional supportive materials.
Marcin (Pictured) had struggled to read and write in English since moving over to the North East of England from Poland. He is just one of millions of adults in the UK struggling with their literacy skills, something that can have a huge impact on employment prospects.
“I really needed employment and I was struggling since leaving my job as a groundsworker.” – M
Marcin spotted a post on Facebook about the employment support Karbon Homes offers and decided to get in touch. He was originally offered employment support after being referred
from the job centre with an obvious language barrier. Sean Robson, one of the Foundations for Life tutors, took the case to help him with his English.
“I supported Marcin with his reading and comprehension of job criteria as well as writing applications forms in correct formats. He was shown punctuation, grammar and correct tense to write in. I helped him with his oral presentation ready for interviews and showed him how to communicate effectively.” – SR
After a few interviews, Marcin was able to get a job with Clayton Glass in a factory in Harelaw, Co. Durham where he has been for over 6 months and is still very happy with his paid employment.
“I was really happy with the support I received. I got confidence for interviews and help when I needed it. I did it for myself and to support my family and it’s made a big difference. I now have money!” – M
Sean went on to say:
“The literacy and numeracy support we offer is not so much a course but a service that is tailored to every individual who is referred to the service.“ – SR
To date, the project has been able to help 38 customers, 6 of whom have now progressed into work. In addition to the core project beneficiaries; Karbon Homes launched our tenant-exclusive Apprenticeship Programme; in which the Foundations Tutor supported the recruitment process to ensure applicants could meet the literacy & numeracy level criteria. TP Managed Services look forward to working on more community projects with Karbon Homes in the near future.