A programme to train volunteers in supporting the delivery of language provision for those who have English as a second language in Wolverhampton is reaping rewards. City of Wolverhampton Council teamed up with Wolverhampton Adult Education Services to set up the project, working with city organisations like The Haven, Epic Café, Refugee & Migrant Centre and Aspiring Futures.

Twelve volunteers have successfully completed a seven-week intense training programme to secure the Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test – an international qualification. Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “This programme has provided the volunteers with the confidence and skills to support them in their volunteering roles as well as eventually help several find employment.

“Wolverhampton is a very diverse place, and a place where many different languages are spoken.  Therefore, it is important programmes like this are delivered in order to support our voluntary organisations to meet the needs of our communities." Participants who gained the Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test qualification this week received their certificates from City of Wolverhampton Mayor Barry Findlay and Mayoress Margaret Findlay.

The council’s Economic Inclusion Service has also run several employability programmes with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) support in partnership with organisations such as TLC College, Aspiring Futures, Gloucester Street Community Centre, and SEWA Centre.

This collaborative approach with city partners and voluntary organisations has provided coaching and mentoring, work experience, work-related courses, computer skills, interview skills and employability support.

The programmes have seen more than 50 people with English as a second language become upskilled and more ready for work, with twenty per cent of them securing employment.