Education and training experts, Learning Curve Group, secured a £1.6m contract to deliver adult education programmes to learners across the Tees Valley region from August 2019.
Just three months since the contract started, they’ve already enrolled over 1,000 learners onto qualifications – either on their flexible learning programmes, pathways to employment courses, or at their state-of-the-art Beauty Academy in Hartlepool.
The 1,000th learner, Jodie Moore, attends Tees Valley Women’s Centre, where Learning Curve Group has delivered courses to women who have been using the centre since 2014.
Jodie said “the Tees Valley Women’s Centre is a fantastic venue and has enabled me to turn my life around. I have already completed a number of courses with Learning Curve Group and am looking forward to completing more.
I want to help people who have had challenges with addiction and homelessness, and this centre and the qualifications will help me to achieve this.”
The programmes delivered within the centre also allow women to gain key skills and knowledge, as well as build confidence which will make them more employable and give them greater opportunities.
Chief Executive of Learning Curve Group, Brenda McLeish, said: “These courses make a real difference to people’s lives – they have the potential to bring long and lasting benefits. Gaining good qualifications can open up new opportunities for these individuals and we are delighted that we’re able to support that ambition.
“Our work impacts lives all over the country, but I’m really proud of our work in the Tees Valley, particularly for the programmes we deliver to those most in need or unemployed, as that’s where we really can make a difference and live our vision to inevitably transform lives through learning.”
The Tees Valley Women’s Centre is a voluntary grass roots venture that provides a one-stop-shop for women in a non-threatening environment. Many of the women who use the centre are escaping difficult life circumstances.
Donna Middleton, Training Co-ordinator at the Tees Valley Women’s Centre, said: “We’re proud to have been working with Learning Curve Group for many years now to offer those who use our services the opportunity to gain qualifications that really make a difference.”
“By becoming better qualified, women can break down those barriers and increase their life and career opportunities,” Donna added, “Most of those who take these courses find that the door is quickly opened to new and better things.”
From August 2019, all funding for adult education in the Tees Valley became devolved, meaning funding is now controlled by Tees Valley Combined Authority rather than by central government.
Learning Curve Group secured £1.6m to deliver training programmes to those 19+ as part of the skills devolution. The Durham-based training provider also has a Construction Academy in Middlesbrough, as well as a Beauty Academy in Hartlepool.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s essential that our young people have the skills they need to take advantage of the jobs that are being created in the Tees Valley through the investment we’re securing. Devolution of the adult education budget earlier this year means we have control of the cash so that we can focus post-19 education in our priority areas.
“It is fantastic that more than 1,000 local people have already had access to Learning Curve Group’s adult education programmes in just three months, giving them the opportunity to improve their career prospects and open up new opportunities for them.
“Learning Curve Group is a great organisation that is allowing people from across the Tees Valley to grow their confidence and gain new skills that will make them more employable, ultimately leading them on to bigger and better things.
“Thanks to devolution we’re able to make sure that organisations that deliver real results and make a real difference to the lives of local people, like Learning Curve Group, are supported.”
Learning Curve Group will continue to deliver programmes across the Tees Valley through their community outreach programmes, in their dedicated training centres, or through their flexible learning programmes.