Teaching English to migrants scheme gets cash boost

Students on the English for Work course being run by Ipswich Community Media, which is supported by

Students on the English for Work course being run by Ipswich Community Media, which is supported by a grant of almost £20,000 and is funded by the European Social Fund. Picture: SHILPA KULKARNI - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Community Media has won a grant of almost £20,000 to help migrants improve their English skills and help them get into work.

The award is from LIFT Community Grants, which is funded by the European Social Fund, to run a year-long project teaching English for Work to local migrants furthest from the labour market and living in some of the most deprived and diverse wards in Ipswich.

The group's (ICM) English for Work project will provide weekly English lessons with a focus on improving learners' job prospects and progression into employment. It is aimed predominantly at Roma, eastern European and other migrant communities and is intended to improve integration, build confidence and reduce isolation.

ICM already helps people from more than 20 different nationalities within Ipswich with ten different nationalities on this course.

As part of the course employers will be invited in to specially commissioned workshops to share what they look for in employees and give students a chance to ask questions.

Students will also be able to take part in volunteering and work placements with local organisations and businesses to gain valuable work experience.

Director of learning Prachi Katdare said: "We have seen a huge interest in our new English for Work course, which shows how keen local migrants are to find work and fully integrate into their communities.

"We are impressed by the talents and skills our learners have to offer the local jobs market. Our course will complement this, by helping them to improve their English, build confidence and understand how to secure employment opportunities."

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Bruce Macgregor, director of ICM, added: "This funding will help us reach even more vulnerable people and provide them with the vital English language and employment knowledge they need to find jobs or access further education and training.

"The volunteering and work placements will also help build confidence and improve integration for these often hard to reach communities."

Launched in 2015 as a community interest company, ICM is based near Norwich Road in Ipswich and works with the public through music, media, creative arts and language learning.

For further information go to its website.