A special presentation event was held at the World of Glass in St Helens recently to celebrate the achievements of adult learners who have used learning to transform and improve their lives.
Organised by St Helens Council’s Adult and Community Learning (ACL) service, the event acknowledged the dedication of learners who have taken positive steps to enrich the lives of themselves and others by gaining skills and qualifications to improve job prospects, support their community and improve their quality of life.
It comes after recent data from St Helens Borough Council shows that adult skills at all levels in the borough have shown improvement and are, in some cases, better than national averages – with the proportion of individuals with no qualifications significantly reduced over the past three years from over 10 percent in 2019 to six percent in 2021.
Councillor Kate Groucutt, St Helens Borough Council’s portfolio holder for skills, was among those in attendance on the night to present certificates to ACL learners who had attended courses during the past year and gained qualifications in a wide range of subjects, including ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), digital skills, and maths.
Issa Tahir Hamit, a qualified doctor with a degree in medicine, has been living as an asylum seeker in St Helens for the past year since moving from Chad in Africa, not knowing a word of English.
He was one of a dozen learners to be awarded on the night for a perfect attendance at his ESOL classes and has also taken part in grammar, driving theory support, and technology classes with Adult Community Learning.
“St Helens is my home and I feel very welcome here,” said Issa. “I arrived here not knowing anyone and only being able to speak French and Spanish, but Adult Community Learning is like one big family and I got all the support and help I needed to succeed with my English.
“I would recommend Adult Community Learning to anyone and now hope to use my skills to get work in a hospital to make a difference.”
Paying tribute to the learners and the tutors who supported them along the way, Councillor Groucutt, said: “It is truly inspiring to hear the journeys our learners have been on over the past 12-months.
“All our recipients on the night decided to return to learning for different reasons, and I’m delighted that this has had a positive, if not transformational, impact on their lives.
“Each and every one of them has worked so hard to get to this stage. From developing and progressing their English communication skills to gaining qualifications in maths, these people have shown that learning is possible at any age, for any reason and can be for all of us. Our ACL staff deserve a special mention for their hard work and dedication to help adult learners flourish.”
For more information on St Helens Borough Council’s Adult Community Learning Service, including course details, visit: www.sthelens.go.uk/adultlearning