On Thursday 6th June, three of our English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students were invited to attend the launch of a West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) report Unlocking Potential – Making Sense of ESOL in the Region.
Principal of South & City College, Mike Hopkins and other principals from across the region were in attendance together with: employers; Department for Work and Pensions; Home Office and Department for Education representatives. The event was hosted by Fircroft College and the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street.
Our students talked about their experiences of ESOL learning in the UK and particularly at South and City College. The students shared their experiences with Andy, who was very interested in their home countries and their ambitions to gain employment in the UK. The students spoke extremely well and all enjoyed the opportunity to share their experiences with the regional Mayor.
Andy said: “We need to remove barriers to work wherever we can. Not being able to speak English is one of those for many people in the region and, in some cases, it has been too expensive for them to get onto a course to learn.
“Providing greater access to English lessons, and ensuring those lessons are tied to vocational training and tailored with words and phrases used every day in real work environments, will make a real difference to the employment prospects of thousands across the region.”