ESOL Skills for Life Academy

Seetec Outsource has launched a new Skills for Life Academy in Greater Manchester to help non-English speakers to integrate into their communities and boost their job opportunities. This skills initiative has been launched against a backdrop of increased public health measures as the country faces a second national lockdown.

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Academy will help those with limited English-speaking skills to fast track their language and knowledge development to give them the confidence to secure employment.

During the current economic climate, with growing anxiety for businesses across the North West, it is more important than ever to support efforts to bring  Greater Manchester’s communities together and celebrate the many differences that make it a vibrant place to live. The ESOL Academy is a practical vehicle for delivering integration, where the differences within communities are embraced, allowing people from all cultural backgrounds to thrive. Integrated communities are a place where everyone can grow and progress, and the deep-rooted values of the academy are aimed at empowering individuals across the community with the tools to achieve their work ambitions.

Andi MacGregor, Head of Adult Skills and Traineeships for Seetec Outsource, explained: “It is a challenging time for Greater Manchester as the wider community continues to adapt to the current public health restrictions. The launch of our ESOL Academy will be a route for those who want to integrate into the community to gain the foundation skills they will need to enter the workplace. It is an opportunity to help more people build a life that has greater financial independence and the freedom to contribute more to their community. We will offer learners a personalised programme that meets their specific learning needs, helping them to access job opportunities that match their skills.

“Business are concerned about the current uncertainty. We aim to work with employers in the Greater Manchester area to understand their needs so that we can match learners with relevant vacancies and career progression pathways, helping individuals to find and sustain employment which will also benefit the local economy. Our academy will work with individuals to boost their existing skills and use the experience they already have to find work. For us it is not just about helping people to improve their English language skills – we want everyone in society to play a fuller role in their new community, find work, integrate and contribute.”

Photo: Zuhair Suliman

The ESOL Skills for Life Academy, based in St Peters Square, Oxford Road, opens at the beginning of November. It builds on Seetec Outsource’s portfolio of ESOL courses, which offer English language opportunities at a range of entry levels. To tackle loneliness and isolation the academy will support learners by offering both an online and onsite learning experience, all under strict COVID guidelines. Seetec Outsource recognises the need for flexibility and the emphasis on virtual learning under the current restrictions.

Zuhair Suliman from Sudan, who is now based in Ashton-under-Lyne, has pharmaceuticals experience but needed to improve his English skills to give him the confidence to attend job interviews in the UK. After starting a Seetec Outsource ESOL course in February, his language skills have developed sufficiently for him to actively seek employment.

Zuhair said: “I wanted to be able to use my skills in the UK, but I needed to improve my English first. The course has been a great experience and I am looking forward to finding employment and planning for the future.”

Photo: Suria Paquete

Suria Paquete has been in the UK for two years and now lives in Blackley and joined a Seetec Outsource ESOL course in May. Despite juggling her learning commitments with looking after her baby and the challenges of the COVID-19 restrictions, she has obtained English language qualifications and secured a part-time job in a fashion warehouse.

Suria said: “When I first came to the UK my English was not good. The course has made me feel more confident and helped me find work but also it has helped me feel more part of my new community, make friends and feel independent again.”

Anna Abel enrolled in March, just as the first lockdown took effect. Although she continued to work-part time, she never missed a lesson. She also referred her brother to the programme and both have achieved qualifications.

Anna, a resident in Cheetham Hill, is now volunteering at the British Heart Foundation in Manchester at weekends and now feels able to seek further work opportunities.

For more information about the ESOL Skills for Life Academy, please contact us on 0161 5194900 / 07758 653125 or email paul.maleque@seetec.co.uk