Islington Council supports more than 1500 local residents every year through a wide variety of courses with many using them to upskill or change careers, while others use them to boost their self-confidence or as a stepping-stone to employment.
Liz recently started work as a support worker after completing an Introduction to Adult Social Care course. She said: “I hadn’t worked for over 25 years as I was bringing up my children, but now they are off to university, so it was time to do something for me. Six months ago, I honestly thought I would only ever get a dead-end job that I didn’t enjoy, doing things I didn’t care about but now I have a career. This has changed my life. I would just say to anyone thinking about taking a course that you have nothing to lose.”
Stephen completed his Entry Level English after he got laid off work. He said: “When I went to the Job Centre, I kept on getting forms. I couldn’t read them or fill them out, so I had to go to my brother who did it all for me. The course has got me thinking a bit more and getting up and out a lot more – I was just sitting around, and this has given me more confidence.”
Olga, who is originally from Romania, said that the ESOL course she took to learn English made a difference to her life. She said: “I am very happy that I have been given the chance to learn English because I had a big problem speaking, listening and understanding and when you don’t understand it’s horrible. I am studying in Morley College in my first term of professional sewing and tailoring. The course is in English and I am happy that I can now understand and learn something new. I work part-time doing alterations in a dry-cleaners shop and as a cleaner but now I would like to find a job in the fashion industry.”