Top marks for Thenue’s pioneering learning course

The Learning Works students with Karen Reilly (third left) and Glasgow Kelvin College curriculum manager Marie Woods (far right)
The Learning Works students with Karen Reilly (third left) and Glasgow Kelvin College curriculum manager Marie Woods (far right)

A pioneering partnership between a housing association and a college to help the unemployed learn new skills and improve their job prospects has celebrated another milestone.

The tenth group of students have just marked the completion of the Learning Works course by Thenue Housing and Glasgow Kelvin College which is aimed at helping them back into employment.

And it emerged this week that no sooner had it ended than one of them had been snapped up by an employer.

Mum Karen Reilly, 47, is returning to work with a well-known carpet manufacturer many years after she first started out in this field.

She said: “It’s great news. No sooner had I completed Learning Works than I found a job. There’s no doubt that Learning Works has helped me greatly and I’m very grateful for the support.”

Nine long-term unemployed people from the east end of Glasgow have completed their studies at Glasgow Kelvin College with an 11th intake of students having just got under way.

The free course is aimed at unemployed people in the area of the east end served by the regeneration agency Clyde Gateway and includes computer skills, health and wellbeing, personal development, communications, numeracy and literacy.

Almost a year ago it was announced that an additional £445,000 was secured from Big Lottery Fund Scotland to allow Learning Works to continue over and above its original funding.

Thenue chief executive Charlie Turner praised the funders saying that current supporters Big Lottery Scotland and Clyde Gateway were helping to make employment possible for those taking part in Learning Works.

Charlie said: “Without this kind of financial support we simply would not be able to help so many people who have benefited from Learning Works and we remain very grateful to them for their support. We congratulate those completing the course this time on their achievement.”

Learning Works has been a remarkable success with around 100 people from the east end being helped since its launch in February 2012.

Craig Green, head of community and information services at Glasgow Kelvin College, said: “The crucial role of community–based learning in addressing access problems is highlighted by the continuing success of the programme and congratulations go to all the learners who are here this evening, as well as to the staff who have supported them on their journey. Our thanks go out to Thenue Housing Association for their continued trust and confidence and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.”

College Principal, Alan Sherry, added: “We are delighted to once again help recognise the achievements of the students on this hugely worthwhile programme. Karen’s marvelous achievement in securing a job, plus the success of all the ‘Learning Works’ groups, underscores the value of partnership working and we are privileged to be part of this with Thenue Housing Association and Clyde Gateway.”

Karen Reilly’s success in finding a job so quickly is proof that Learning Works delivers results.

Her skill in the carpet manufacturing industry, obtained over many years before she left to bring up a child, meant she was an appealing prospect as a new employee.

She is about to start work with much-admired and Glasgow-based carpet producers Stevens & Graham – famed for their tartan carpets. The company is a market leader in its field and unlike so many others has remained in business as an iconic city business since 1947.

Karen added: ‘I’m really looking forward to my new job and very grateful to Stevens & Graham for giving me the chance to be working again.”

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