New City College has received a high-profile national commendation for its innovative Covid-response programme, designed to get people trained, qualified and back into work.
The college’s AoC Beacon Commendation recognises NCC’s success in supporting people whose jobs and livelihoods were impacted by Covid lockdowns, to get retrained and back into work through its sector-based Work Academy Programme.
The college responded directly and rapidly to the increased and changing landscape of London’s unemployment, as a result of the Covid lockdowns. People who had lifelong professional careers were claiming benefits for the first time, and desperate to get back into work. Some sectors lost thousands of jobs, while other career opportunities emerged.
The college team stepped up to the challenge to deliver flexible, intensive and effective training and qualifications through the lockdown periods. The team expanded capacity and adapted the way that they taught so that people could get re-trained and start new jobs as soon as lockdown lifted.
Key to the success of the scheme is the college’s strong relationship with employers, Job Centre Plus managers and advisers, as well as local charities and community groups. The courses are directly informed by available and upcoming job vacancies, so that students can be guaranteed a job interview if they successfully complete their course.
One participant commented: “It was a great opportunity for me to start something new which I knew I would be good at. The best choice in my life! I was offered an interview for a job which was successful.”
More than 1,000 people benefited from the programme and secured work in schools, housing, adult social care, security, and public service administration. In turn, the college also directly benefited itself by training talented teachers to help the programme grow to meet its increasing demand.