Learn Devon works with Westward Housing Group to upskill tenants

Posted on: 14 February 2018

Logo of the Westward Housing Group

Learn Devon, Devon County Council’s adult education service, is helping housing association tenants into work and higher education by teaching them new skills and giving them the chance to obtain qualifications.

Westward Housing Group, one of the South West’s largest housing associations, and Learn Devon have teamed up to give hundreds of tenants a helping hand to improve their skills, self-confidence and employability.

Last year Learn Devon supported more than 150 of Westward’s tenants.

The courses on offer this year include Maths and English – from functional skills to GCSEs, arts and crafts and wellbeing and employability.

Westward has more than 7400 properties in the South West so a huge range of tenants can from this opportunity.

Councillor Stuart Barker, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for Economy and Skills said: “Maths and English are essential for everyday life, and GCSEs are a must for many jobs. One of Devon County Council’s main priorities is improving opportunities for all and supporting people to learn the skills they need to change their lives, careers and at the same time enable them to be economically active and independent.

“We recognise that it can be hard to find ways of gaining the qualifications you might need for a career change and our Learn Devon service has many ways to help people into and stay in work. Schemes like this play an essential part in helping people to help themselves and in doing so, ensuring the long-term economic well-being of the county.”

Hayley Austin, Westward’s Assistant Director of Operations (Housing) said: “Providing training to help improve job prospects and quality of life for all our customers is important to Westward. It also helps tenants to ensure their tenancies can be maintained in the long-term. This partnership is part of the development of our range of services that we invest in for our customers.

“Learn Devon’s range of courses and their expertise will help provide opportunities for our tenants to take ownership of their lives and futures.”

Free weekly drop-in workshops on Universal Credit will be one of the courses available to tenants from February onwards. Held at Learn Devon’s Alexander Centre in Tavistock, people can receive advice on setting up and understanding the new Universal Credit accounts.