City of Wolverhampton Council has been successful with a bid for more than £165,000 of government funding to support its English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) Pathways Project.

The initiative has been developed by the council’s skills team in partnership with the city’s ESOL Strategy Group, Wolverhampton Learning Platform, and Adult Education Wolverhampton.

The money for 2019/2020 has come from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s latest round of Controlling Migration Funding (CMF).

It will be used to support new arrivals in the city and the existing migrant population with the skills they need to seek employment and improve their life skills. 

The project will enable them to develop new skills, particularly English language skills within their own neighbourhoods, providing them with their first steps into learning and further education.

Councillor Mike Hardacre, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This is great news for the work we are doing with new communities.

“We are a city of diverse cultures and we wish to celebrate those cultures, bring them together and harness their creativity and productivity for the wider benefit of Wolverhampton.  

“This will enrich our wider community and help to establish a cohesive, supportive and friendly community where everyone can thrive.”

The programme will be delivered within community settings and will utilise informal learning techniques such as chatter groups and taster sessions to introduce people to learning and employment.

It will provide clear, stepped progression routes, supporting individuals with confidence building, cultural awareness, information advice and guidance, employability skills, and digital and IT awareness.