New year, new you

  • 22
  • Feb

Every year Islington Council offers free adult and community learning (ACL) courses to help unemployed and low-waged residents develop skills and find employment.

From CV workshops to GCSE maths; from setting up an email address to applying for a job; from jewellery-making to history walks around the local area, there is something for everyone.

ACL courses are free for Islington residents or parents with children in Islington schools. To qualify, learners must be 19 or over, unemployed, or low waged and receiving benefits.

Some of the most popular are the preparing for work courses, which include Boost Your Interview Skills, one-to-one CV sessions and Boost Your Confidence.

Tailored programmes (some accredited) are also offered to help residents prepare for a range of jobs in different vocational areas, such as Intro to Working in Care, Working in Hospitality & Catering, and Working With Children.

Family learning courses include family fun days and whole-family activities like sewing and reading. There are also monthly art workshops at Islington Museum and local history walks. While, the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses help people become more confident in reading, writing and speaking English.

The ACL team currently works with around 2,300 residents every year, and is keen to reach more people that would benefit from its courses.

Learning new skills can really make a difference to a person’s life. Take Mark for instance, who met an ACL tutor at Job Centre Plus in Barnsbury. He was just starting to find his feet having only recently moved to London.

Aldo Zeolla, Learning Development Manager, says: “When we spoke to him it was clear he had a real interest in helping people. Our advisor invited him to attend a free Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care course. Mark also benefitted from our employment support drop-in sessions and CV workshop and it wasn’t long before he was starting to apply for posts.”

Within a couple of weeks of the course ending, Mark was offered a job as a full time care assistant in a residential care home. Mark said: “The course really helped me build my confidence and knowledge about working in the care sector.”

Enrolment is currently open for the January term, and the new course brochures are available now. If you would like a copy, please email, or call 020 7257 3488.

Courses and start dates are also listed at where residents can register their interest for courses and a tutor will get in touch to enrol them.

Information and enrolment days will also take place on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 January, between 9.30am – 4pm at Arsenal, 3Corners and First Steps Learning Centres.

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