This contractor have been working collaboratively with Lambeth College and London South Bank University (LSBU), to pilot a programme which aims to upskill diverse members of their workforce who are foreign and often struggle with the English language, providing them with the opportunity to learn and feel more comfortable engaging with other people on site. This voluntary course will also provide the participants with additional qualifications.
An initial group of 9 employees were interested in participating in this ESOL – Entry level 3: Speaking and Listening Course. The course duration is between 12-18 weeks. Employees receive a 1.5 hours weekly class as a group and also have 1-2-1 sessions with the tutor to further support them. 70% of the group are from an African country with refugee status (Eritrea and Uganda) and the rest come from Europe (Romania). The age bracket of the learners ranges between 24-44 years of age.
The programme, which is currently being rolled out will be extended to other projects run by the contractor. There is also scope to include other learning courses such as Maths, which will be explored once the ESOL course has been completed. This programme supports the contractors social value pillars and social equity strategy in the area of diversity and inclusion.
The aim of these programmes is to tackle forced labour and modern slavery issues that are frequently found in the construction industry. These courses will give them the opportunity to better understand their contracts, wages, any deductions and taxes, among others.