Skills boost for students thanks to Children In Need

Ruth Peterson | January 5, 2021

A £57,000 grant from Children In Need aims to open up new opportunities for asylum seeker, refugee and BAME background students at Bradford College.

The funding has been offered through BBC Children in Need & Inspiring Futures to run the project with the college’s students of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The project aims to boost language and employment skills and self-confidence for around 150 students aged 16-18 and 50 students aged 18-24.

Breaking down barriers

The classes taught in ESOL include refugees, asylum seekers and learners from BAME backgrounds, some of whom have experienced trauma, some live alone, and many of those with family members are the carers and translators for parents or siblings. The language barrier between ESOL students and their peers can add to feelings of isolation and exclusion from the workplace, which the project will support students to overcome.

Delivery of the project will begin this month (January 2021) and will run until the end of 2021. It will fund a coach to support students to overcome specific barriers as well as helping them to develop skills, giving them the confidence to apply for jobs, take part in job interviews and succeed in the workplace.

Reducing social exclusion

Cristina Nicolae, the Curriculum Team Leader for ESOL, and Leon Khan, who is part of Bradford College’s Project Team, successfully applied for the funding. Cristina said: “The project aims to reduce social exclusion and instil leadership skills in young people. They will also be supported to gain volunteering positions as well as become peer mentors for our student cohort in the following years.”

Inspiring a brighter future

The grant has been made possible by Inspiring Futures, a joint funding programme between BBC Children in Need and the Youth Futures Foundation. Inspiring Futures supports organisations working to improve employment outcomes for young people who face disadvantage across the UK and who have been affected by the impact of COVID-19.

Craig Tupling, Vice Principal at Bradford College, said: “At Bradford College we believe everyone deserves support and opportunities to reach their goals and potential. We are thankful to Children in Need and the Youth Futures Foundation for their grant which enables us to continue to help people overcome disadvantage or lack of opportunities, and transform their lives.”

About Inspiring Futures

BBC Children in Need and Youth Futures Foundation are partnering to deliver Inspiring Futures, a £6 million programme to fund positive activities which support children and young people to achieve their potential on their journey towards employment.

You can find out more about the Inspiring Futures programme on the Children In Need Inspiring Futures webpage.

About Youth Futures Foundation

Youth Futures Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established with a £90m endowment from the Reclaim Fund to tackle youth unemployment.

Youth Futures’ vision is of a society where all young people have equitable access to good quality jobs. It aims to achieve this by identifying ‘what works’ to inform policy and practice, invest in proven approaches and evaluation via its grants programme and initiate new ways of working to ignite systems change.

Young people are at the heart of Youth Futures’ work with charities, local authorities, social enterprises, employers and government to help those who face the greatest disadvantage and discrimination to access and progress into meaningful work.

For more information visit www.youthfuturesfoundation.org and follow them on Twitter @YF_Foundation

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