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Supporting Breckland Jobs

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Speak to an advisor

Talk to one of our dedicated support team members to find out how West Suffolk College can improve your business.

Advice & Help Centre

The Employer Partnership Scheme has been designed to provide the opportunity for our Employers to upskill their workforce through improving their employees’ English skills where English is not their first language through our ESOL provision (English for Speakers of other Languages).

Why be involved in the Scheme?

  • To set yourself apart as an employer of choice
  • The opportunity to invest in your employees and the wider community
  • To improve productivity, internal communications and employee retention
  • Facilitating self-driven learning
  • Making employees more culturally aware and sensitive to diversity
  • Making learning part of the workflow
  • Promoting team integration inside and outside work
  • Enhancing job satisfaction
  • Developing the skills of your employees

The offer?

A range of flexible and work-focused ESOL qualifications are available for employees who are ready and motivated to gain a certification.

This can be facilitated in the workplace itself or through one of our local learning teaching centres; either within or outside working hours subject to operational requirements of both the workplace and the college.

What are ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Qualifications?

It’s aimed at non-native English speakers, looking to take up a new language or validate their skills. On successful completion it will demonstrate that the employee has good speaking, writing, listening and reading skills in English which will also enhance social interactions and everyday life There are no formal entry requirements for ESOL, so it doesn’t matter if this is a first qualification for your employees. Employees will complete an initial assessment to enable us to know what level of entry is right for them and to place them in an appropriate class. There are 5 qualification levels: Entry Level 1, 2 and 3 and Level 1 and 2 (Elementary to Advanced). Students start at their current assessed level and will be supported through to their required level of achievement.

What will the ESOL course cover?

The courses are designed to be practical. The course is designed to be practical. It will teach ‘real world’ every day English, including punctuation and grammar. If you have any particular requirements of themes including Health and Safety or business language this can be discussed prior to the start and included in the course. For English, these include: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. For maths, these include: Number, Measure Shape and Space and Statistics and Data.

Classes will be fun and interactive with individual and group learning. Homework will be encouraged.

How long is a course? When, how, where?

Each course is tailor-made to suit you as the employer. They can start and finish at any time of the year, inhouse or at one of our local learning centres. Cohort sizes will be in mutual agreement with you, but we would expect a minimum of 8.

Classes are typically 2-3 hours per week for each student covering 12-18 weeks. Each course generally covers 2 skills: Speaking and Listening and Reading and Writing. We encourage 2 courses over the year to cover a full certificate.

It is imperative to the success of the programme that students can attend at least 90% of the course, therefore it is prudent to plan the course effectively around peak production and holiday times.

Starting times are flexible to the students and working hours and fixed each week.

How much will it cost?

As with all training, this is an investment. We will be delighted to quote depending on class sizes, length of course, timing and distance. There is funding available for employees who are 19+ and who earn less than £16,009.50 per annum (subject to eligibility requirements).

If you teach in-house, what do we need to provide for you to teach our staff?

A quiet room with a table and enough chairs for each student. We provide the resources including pen and notebook. A (large as possible) whiteboard is a necessity for the tutor. Any other resources e.g. Dictionaries, projection facilities including a TV and screen are useful tools.

Do we have to pay our staff while they are at class?

This is entirely down to your business model. It is not a necessity, although case studies have shown that paying staff to learn undoubtedly produces better results for retention.

What can we offer as a company after they qualify at Level 2?

Employees can potentially progress to other courses that West Suffolk College offer including vocational, Functional Skills English and Maths, ICT and as an approved ILM centre - Leadership, Management and Coaching training. West Suffolk College is also a partner of the University of Suffolk with dozens of degrees available.

For more information

Please email:
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