Swindon Council leader David Renard writes: Swindon is doing so well that even a visiting opposition MP said that the town has really expanded and grown exponentially, adding that ‘Swindon is contributing to the economy and standing out in the South.’
Unemployment has fallen as the number of those claiming the Job Seeker’s Allowance in Swindon has reduced by 61% between May 2010 and May 2015, from 4827 to 1895.
Youth unemployment over the same period fell by 72% from 1150 to 320, but we recognise that we still need to do more if we are to make sure that all our residents can benefit from our economic growth.
One way we do this is through our support for Adult and Community Learning. Last Friday, Councillor Garry Perkins, the Cabinet Member for the Economy, Regeneration and Skills attended a special event at The Platform on Faringdon Road to celebrate some of our Learners’ successes. Each year we help about 1500 people through appropriate courses that help build personal confidence and support adults to find work, become a volunteer or re-enter formal education.
Between September and December last year, over three out of every ten of those who participated went on to further learning, or find a job, or become an active volunteer. Forty per cent of participants reported that they now had better skills for the workplace. What I found most impressive was that 64 per cent stated that they had higher levels of confidence. While we may not think of this as a key skill, anyone who has recruited staff will appreciate that confident individuals make the right impression both at the interview and in the work place.
As well as benefiting the economy, the extra skills and confidence adult learners acquire also leads to benefits for the community. One quarter of those who attended course at the end of last year reported that they felt better equipped to be parents. I hope this means that a new generation will be raised with the confidence and willingness to learn that will serve them well through their whole lives. If you would like to join one of our courses, you can find more information on the Adult Community Learning website
You can also contact the council to find out more on 01793 466482 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org