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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Free skills courses open to Islanders

01 April 2022

Islanders can enrol on free courses to improve their basic English, maths and English as an Additional Language (EAL) skills at Highlands College, following additional Government funding.

As part of the COVID-19 Health and Social Recovery Fund, Highlands College has been granted funding to support Islanders' recovery from the pandemic by providing roughly 20 free courses over a 16-month period.

The courses are targeted at Islanders with limited or no qualifications, and those who are at risk of being marginalised or excluded by their lack of English and maths skills.

This includes Islanders with a low level of spoken or written English, and those who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). The NEET provision will also include small group tuition and individual learning support.

Some courses are already being delivered, including one aimed at parents with English as an Additional Language, which will allow them to better support their children.

Islanders can currently enroll for the following courses:

  • Functional Skills in English – begins 26 April
  • Improve your Skills in English – begins 26 April
  • Functional Skills in Maths – begins 28 April
  • Improve your Skills in Maths – begins 28 April

Enrolment on all courses is free of charge, and no previous qualifications are needed. Islanders who want to apply do not need to interview ahead of the course. For some courses, Islanders can choose to gain an accredited qualification, free of charge.

Principal of Highlands College, Jo Terry-Marchant, said: "I'm pleased that we now have additional targeted funding to be able to expand our basic skills provision. While we are already the largest provider of lifelong learning courses, these do ordinarily come at a cost, which might be challenging to those Islanders on lower incomes."

"These free courses are designed to support Islanders' economic wellbeing by giving them the skills they need to access better employment opportunities, and to also provide wider social and educational benefits to them and their families. This means that the impact of these courses lasts well beyond the 20 months of delivery."

Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Scott Wickenden, said: "We know that many families have really struggled through the pandemic, not just with the economic impact of the pandemic, but with the impact on access to education.

"I'm especially pleased that the courses are targeted at parents. These courses won't just help parents improve their skills and their job prospects; they'll also be acting as a role model for their children, and encouraging them to engage in education."

Anyone interested in enrolling in a course can contact Carol Tyrer (01534 60816) or Jo Gueno (01534 608749) for a friendly informal chat. 

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