Staff from Cardiff Council have been boosting their essential and computer skills with help from Cardiff and Vale College.
CAVC works with the Cardiff Council Academy to provide basic skills support in Maths, English and IT alongside course in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and a range of other courses. The academy offers training to all council staff and works in partnership with the College to provide opportunities to improve skills either in the workplace or at College sites across Cardiff.
The College and Cardiff Council Academy offer individual or group support to employees, as well as courses and drop-in sessions that are tailored to meet the needs of the individual.
Council employee Phillip Parker approached the Academy because he was experiencing difficulties with the written aspect of his job.
“They suggested I meet the Essential Skills Community Learning team based at The Friary,” Phillip said. “I decided to go on the course to improve my IT skills and my spelling. I am learning how to use Microsoft Word to create documents, letters and posters. I have also learnt strategies to improve my spelling. I have enjoyed everything about the course.
“This course has helped me in work and at home. I am starting to enjoy working on a computer and feel confident to use one at work when I stand in for the supervisor as team leader. I am hoping my spelling will improve more as the course progresses - my advice to anyone thinking about going on a course is ‘Go for it’.”
David Esprit also wanted to improve his literacy skills and the Cardiff Council Academy suggested that he meet with CAVC’s Essential Skills Community Learning Team at the Friary.
“I went along to The Friary for a chat and had an initial assessment to find a starting point,” David explained. “I worked over a four week period to improve my report writing skills.
“I was encouraged to enrol at The Friary Open Learning Centre where I could improve my literacy skills further and gain a qualification. I also attended the Academy’s foundation level word processing course at Severn Road Adult Centre and gained certification at Level 2.
“I have found that both these courses have been beneficial and given me increased confidence in the workplace. Both my writing and IT skills are improving and I find I pay more attention to planning, proofreading and grammar than I used to. I also apply my newly learnt skills at home and the IT course has helped me adapt to new technology. I recently bought a new laptop and I feel comfortable with it - I even showed my family how to use Microsoft Office 2010!
“I will continue improving my literacy skills and hope to gain a qualification in the near future. My advice to anyone thinking of improving their skills would be “Don’t hold back, do it now!”
Richard Davis also works for Cardiff Council. “My supervisor received an email advertising a basic computing class with an opportunity to brush up literacy or numeracy skills,” he said. “I said I would be interested because I felt I was getting left behind with everything becoming computerised.”
Richard has since learned about computer security, using software such as Word and Excel and using spellcheck to improve his spelling.
“I’ve also used Excel to produce simple spreadsheets around stock control and a personal budget,” Richard said. “I was glad to find that I actually had money over each month! I feel more confident using a computer now. It’s never too late to learn new skills and they always come in useful even if it’s only helping the kids with their homework.”
Another Council employee, Russell Davies, decided he wanted to improve his skills.
“I have used Microsoft Word to create files, letters, forms and posters,” Russell said. “I liked the spell check and thesaurus options as they can support my spelling and extend my vocabulary.
“I am working on Microsoft Excel and have learnt how to apply BODMAS to my formula. I have created simple spreadsheets looking at stock control and a personal budget. I am also learning how to show parts of the spreadsheet as a graph or chart. I enjoy the way everyone is at different levels and we all help each other which makes me realise how much I’ve learnt.”
Cardiff Council provision for Basic Skills, ESOL and Families Learning Together joined Cardiff and Vale College in January this year. Previously franchised out from the College to the Council, bringing the provision back in-house saw more than 100 new staff and in excess of 3,000 new learners join CAVC. This provision is offered at 50 sites across Cardiff including schools, libraries, community centres and training and enterprise centres.
Other CAVC Adult and Community Learning projects include ICT training for the College’s own crèche staff and drop in sessions at Lamby Way.
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