Adult Learner praised at celebration of adult learning event
28 August 2019David Langford has been named the best adult learner in the borough.
The 38-year-old from Chester won the prestigious Learner of the Year award at the Council’s annual Adult Learner Awards event in Storyhouse, a celebration of adult learning which recognised the achievements of learners in the past year.
David was praised for his positive attitude to learning and for overcoming feelings of anxiety to become a more confident jobseeker after a difficult few years.
He did not see a future ahead after a mental breakdown at work three and a half years ago. He resigned immediately and spent the following couple of years stuck at home suffering from depression, anxiety and self-harm.
Now, with the support of Chester Work Zone he is on the road to recovery. He completed health and wellbeing courses, attended structured work clubs, and improved his CV writing skills and interview technique.
He said: “As I was doing the courses I looked at myself and realised if I carry on doing what I’m doing, moving forward instead of looking back, I am going to get myself back into work sooner rather than later.
“I was shocked when I won the award. I was shaking like a leaf, nervous excitement at being recognised for the work I had put in. It was so emotional for me.”
David was spurred into applying for jobs and was delighted to get a customer service role. He said: “I feel stronger than four years ago. I know, when I go back into work, if there are any signs of anxiety I know what my triggers are and how to manage it.”
Award winners also included Thomas Truck Training which won the Partner of the Year Award for working closely with the Council to train job seekers in operating fork lift trucks and factory machinery. Thomas Truck Training was praised for the quality of its training and for helping a high percentage of its learners to gain employment.
George Donnelly, of Thomas Truck Training, said: “The Thomas Truck Training team is very excited to have received this award. With a little help from the Work Zones and good deal of hard work from our team we completed the initial period of training and looking forward to the new term starting soon.”
Cllr Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth, said: “The Council is working with residents and their families to help them developing new skills and introduce them to new opportunities.
“Our Skills and Employment team offers a broad, ambitious and coherently planned curriculum. We ensure our learners develop a wider range of skills and make progress from entry level to level 2.
“We deliver courses through the Family Learning Team and in our Work Zones we work in partnership with 17 local training organisations to train people in areas such as fork lift truck driving, construction, Beauty therapy, administration and general employability skills including health and wellbeing.”
The Work Zones were set up by Cheshire West and Chester Council to help people into sustained employment through a single point of contact service. Job seekers are referred to Work Zones by Job Centre Plus and other partners or people can make a self-referral. A partnership approach involving the Council, Department for Work and Pensions, educators, and employers means that job seekers can be assessed, mentored, trained and introduced to potential employers when they are work ready.
There are four Work Zones in Chester, Ellesmere Port, Northwich and Winsford and each have Employment Support Mentors who assess people’s skills as well as taking stock of all the other factors that impact on their life before creating an agreed action plan that creates a pathway to achieve employment goals.
Last year, the Work Zone mentors supported 825 people into work and helped more than 3,886 to find work since Work Zones opened in 2013.
If you need help finding work, contact a Work Zone in your area by visiting www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/workzone or telephone: Ellesmere Port 0151 356 6667, Chester 01244 976028, Northwich 01606 288540, Winsford 01606 288901.