Thenue-backed employment course comes to an end after six successful years

The final participants at Learning Works with Tracy Lennon (far left), college principal Alan Sherry (second left) and Thenue chief executive Charles Turner (centre)

A hugely-successful initiative to help the long-term unemployed in Glasgow’s East End has come to an end after a six year run.

The award-winning Learning Works, a partnership between Thenue Housing and Glasgow Kelvin College, has helped nearly 300 people find a pathway into work and learning since it began in 2012.

Over 270 people have been through the free course with 85% of those taking part either finding a job or undertaking learning equipped with new skills.

The course was aimed at unemployed people in the area of Glasgow served by the regeneration agency Clyde Gateway.

The programme was always due to finish when funding came to an end and Thenue is now looking at other ways it can help employability and learning in the East End. Funding opportunities are being sought out to try and make that happen.

A final ‘Celebration of Learning’ event took place in Calton when the nine final participants on what was course 22 were rewarded with their certificates.

Glasgow Kelvin College principal Alan Sherry said: “Glasgow Kelvin College is extremely proud of the achievements of this, the final cohort of learners on the hugely-successful Learning Works programme. We are delighted to have been involved in the partnership with Thenue Housing, Big Lottery Scotland and Clyde Gateway which delivers opportunities to people who are often experiencing significant challenges in their local community.

“The unique framework of the programme has supported learners as they gain new skills, building their confidence and self-esteem.  The success of the Learning Works groups underscores the value of working together to support learners.  We feel privileged to have been part of this dynamic partnership and to have played a role in the many success stories where learners have turned their lives around.

“Congratulations go to all the learners, and also to the dedicated staff who have supported this group and the many students who came before them.”

Lawrence McCabe, community regeneration manager at Thenue, said: “Learning Works is a shining example of the kind of work housing associations across Scotland are doing to help their communities at grass roots level.

“Helping people back into the workplace so they can earn a wage and improve their lives is undoubtedly one of the most admirable accomplishments of the housing association movement and reflects the importance Thenue places on helping communities.”

The final course also marked a fond farewell for one of the key personnel involved in Learning Works from the very start.

Thenue employability support worker Tracy Lennon has now taken up a new housing-related post at North Lanarkshire Council.

The housing association praised Tracy’s diligence, commitment and hard work for helping to make Learning Works a successful community-focused initiative.

Thenue chief executive Charles Turner said: “There is no doubt that Tracy was one of the main reasons Learning Works proved so successful. Her drive and dedication to making it work and helping so many people was outstanding. We wish Tracy well in her new role in Lanarkshire.”