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Ofsted praise for adult skills training

Thousands of Staffordshire adults are getting first class help to train and learn new skills.

Ofsted inspectors have rated Staffordshire County Council’s Skills and Employability Service ‘Good’ for the second time in a row.

Ben Adams, the county council’s cabinet member for Learning and Skills, said:

We help 10,000 people a year take more than 1,400 courses at around 200 different places across Staffordshire every year.

It’s satisfying that Ofsted should praise what we do, but the important point is that we are helping people help themselves with real long term benefits for all of us.

Some people are taking basic qualifications that allow them to take the next step towards getting the skills they need for the job they want, others learn life skills and gain confidence, while it allows those learning English for the first time to integrate into our society and find work.”

Ofsted praised the council for its work with “the most disadvantaged and marginalised residents in the county”, including “learners with severe and complex needs and people recovering from serious medical conditions”.

Voluntary and community groups are among those commissioned by the council to deliver training and apprenticeships and inspectors said the well-designed and targeted courses “improve the employment prospects and life chances of residents across the eight regions of the county”.

The report also praised the focus on teaching skills which would lead to employment, noting that the large majority of those who took the courses went into further learning, the voluntary sector, or paid work.

Ben Adams said:

This success is vindication of a previous decision not to impose the council’s preferences across the county, but to be flexible and commission specific courses where they’re needed to improve people’s health and wellbeing, social inclusion and employment prospects.

With joblessness in the county standing at one per cent or less since 2015, it benefits everyone to have more people learning skills and either coming on to the jobs market, or pushing themselves to get a better job.

And we know that people who are in work tend to be happier, healthier and more self-reliant, rather than turning to the authorities.”