Burngreave Messenger

Issue 24 August 2002

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Community Learning Campaign:
Another Step Forward
by Martin Yarnit

Over 100 local people will be employed to spearhead a community learning campaign for Burngreave, if New Deal gives its support to an exciting new plan. Local organisations have endorsed an ambitious proposal to take learning into the community which is designed to reach out to almost three thousand local adults over the next five years.

The aim is to tackle literacy and numeracy problems which act as a barrier to people getting jobs and improving their qualifications. It will target people in all sections of the community, including White people, African-Caribbeans, Yemenis, Somalis and Pakistanis. It will also serve the needs of refugees and asylum seekers. The plan will also help more people to take part in learning, enabling them to gain the skills and qualifications that employers are looking for.

Bringing the communities together to share resources and ideas is at the heart of the plan drawn up with local people by Sheffield-based consultants, Martin Yarnit and Liz Cousins.

Local people will form part of a campaigns team which, it is proposed, will be based in a prominent location close to Spital Hill. New Deal is being asked to give the go ahead to recruiting 18 people on a pilot basis to test out the idea over two years.

They will divide their time between working as learning assistants and following courses leading to qualifications which will enable them to advise local people on learning opportunities and to teach basic skills. They will be based in an upgraded network of easily accessible local learning centres open to all.