The Council will consider an update report tomorrow on how well its York Learning (further education) service is performing. Not surprisingly, courses have been interrupted with many of the venues used by the service not being available for hire.
The Council produced a “Shine” booklet recently outlining what was available this summer. Mainly aimed at families, it can be accessed by clicking here
Much of the York Learning’s £3 million budget is spent on providing educational opportunities for disadvantaged groups.
Some performance information has now been published click
It reveals that events such as “job fairs” have been shelved in the wake of the health scare. Given the likely increase in unemployment in the City, providing services like this must have a high priority even if they have to be established initially on a “virtual” basis.
Reskilling the workforce will be a challenge as the City – and country – tries to emerge from recession. Judging by the published report, York Learning has yet to adapt its priorities to address that challenge.
The report reveals a decline in student numbers – including refugees – undertaking English language courses. This is partly explained by the lower number of inward migrants to the area. Some courses are also now available on line using “zoom”.
The report to the meeting acknowledges that during recent months some residents have become more isolated than they needed to be because of lack of IT skills. Many services were only available “on line” during the crisis and libraries were closed.
Filling that skills gap is a top priority for the service
The learning team have been criticised in the past for being slightly remote from local communities. Residents Associations rarely receive any information about upcoming local activities.
The Council will need to engage more effectively in the future if those in greatest need of skills training are to receive the support that they need.