Our ESOL & IT Skills for Integration project formally began back in June 2022, though we welcomed our first participants on our IT Skills course in September 2022. In December our project reached the six month mark, which is a great time for reflection and project development. We learned a lot about our project in this timeframe and have made some adjustments to better serve our participants. We’re including a couple highlights here, but you can read all the details in our 6 month project report, available here.
Our ESOL Classes are very popular, meaning there are now waiting lists for both class times. Our participants come from many different areas around Glasgow, though as the chart below shows, there is a very large number of participants from right around our offices, in the G41 and G51 postcodes.
Participants join our ESOL classes for various reasons. When asked, participants indicated reasons that impact both their everyday life, as well as their future goals. Finding work or volunteer opportunities as well as increased ability to speak with people in shops can have a profoundly positive impact on participants’ everyday lives, and help them feel better integrated into their local community. Increased English skills can also help participants pursue higher waged job opportunities or pursue further education, which also leads to improved work opportunities.
Our IT Skills courses are really useful to participants as those who complete the course receive a qualification they can add to their CV or use as part of their application preparation for college. Much like our ESOL courses, participation in our IT Skills courses can improve the daily lives of participants as well as expand their future goals and opportunities. As you can see in the graphic below, over 20% of participants in session 2 of our IT Skills course had not used a computer prior to beginning the course. In today’s world where so much information and access to resources and assistance is based on having access to a computer and the internet, for these participants we are able to make massive improvements in their daily lives as well as the jobs they are able to pursue.
We also asked participants in the IT Skills course the reasons that they chose to register for the course. Their answers indicate reasons that impact both their daily lives and their future goals. The participants’ own education as well as that of their children are frequent reasons they register for our IT Skills course. This helps us see that by providing skills learning opportunities to these adults, the children in their lives are also benefitting.
We are very proud of the work we are doing in our ESOL & IT Skills for Integration project and appreciate the support of the National Lottery Community Fund, the Scottish Refugee Council, Glasgow Clyde College, and our community.