To celebrate Adult Learners Week, the Rhondda Fach Partnership held their Winter Skillz Celebratory event on the appropriately titled ‘Skills for Life Day’
The Winter Skillz programme now in its second year aims to build upon the very successful annual Summer Skillz programme across the Rhondda Fach area.
Held in February 2010, the two week skills training programme saw 159 local people involved in the training successfully complete a range of courses including Youth Work, Play, Food Hygiene, First Aid, Construction, Rough Guide to Money. They also learnt various other skills that are required for the job market such as telephone techniques, CV building and many more.
The event held at Canolfan Rhys Arts and Education Centre, Penrhys welcomed Mr. Leighton Andrews Assembly Member for the Rhondda and Minister for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning, who said: “I am delighted to support the Rhondda Fach Winter Skillz event again this year. These are the learning opportunities that are making a real difference to local young people.”
Rhondda Cynon Taf Councillor Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, who also attended the event, said:
“During these difficult economic times, it is perhaps particularly important that people have these learning opportunities to improve their skills so that they are better placed in terms of employability. Of the people who completed the course, 31% of these were young people aged 14-19 years and 30% were economically inactive.
“Adult Learners Week aims to encourage those who perhaps don’t usually get involved in learning to try some of the fantastic and often free courses available throughout the County Borough. There are various courses, projects and opportunities available for all ages across Rhondda Cynon Taf which can help with employability.”
Luke Belmont from Penrhys, who has undertaken a variety of courses through the programme continues to be eager to learn more and wanted further training to enhance his skills. His appetite for learning led him to successfully complete OCN’s such as Carpentry, Dry Stone Walling, Tiling, CSCS Card, a Lantra Award in Brushcutting and Strimming, and Basic First Aid.
Luke, said: ”These courses have been an excellent step up in my search for employment and since I completed the courses, I am now working for the Penrhys Partnership as an Assistant Estate Worker.
“I am more confident and am earning a wage and I feel I am very lucky to have these opportunities in my community. I would encourage everyone to try a new skill, you never know where it could lead.”
Richard Spear, Director of NIACE Dysgu Cymru, who also attended the event said: “The main objective of Adult Learners’ Week is to highlight and promote the fantastic learning opportunities on offer right throughout the country.
“We have found that once people get a taste of what is on offer, they feel empowered to find out more and many go on to learn new skills that they can put to good use.”
Mr Spear added: “People all have their own reasons for getting back into learning but the main message is that whether you are young or old, an experienced learner or someone returning to learning after a number of years, there is something to suit every taste during Adult Learners’ Week.”
The Rhondda Fach Partnership also announced their Summer Skillz Programme at the event and if you are you looking to develop new skills to enhance your job prospects, or perhaps you are looking to learn something new for yourself, or are interested in attending a short course in your local community, then Summer Skillz 2010 could be for you!
This year Summer Skillz will be offering courses/workshops such as construction, home maintenance, introduction to catering and hospitality, youth work, home improvements, managing money, first aid, food hygiene, play training and much, much more.
What’s even better is that all training is FREE and FREE transport is provided if you live in the Rhondda Fach. Courses/workshops are held in venues from Maerdy to Penrhys to Porth.
New for this year you can join the Rhondda Fach Community Learning Programme Group on FACEBOOK with up to date information on all courses and if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns talk to us via THE WALL also there is a new DVD showcasing how local people have benefited from the programme.
The full programme will be available soon from various Communities First Partnerships in the Rhondda Fach or you can contact Julie at Penrhys Partnership on 01443 755008. IF you have internet access visit www.penrhys.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.