From September 2023, Southern Regional College will be offering a new range of flexible courses under the Step-Up (Skills, Training and Employment programme).
Step-Up consists of three strands. They are:
1) College Connect+
2) DARE (Disability Access Route to Education and Employment), and
3) WRAP (Women Returners Access Programme)
The programme aims to help a wide range of participants, from anyone over the age of 16, anyone with a disability, and those seeking to return to the work force and re-skill following a career break. The aim of the programme is to increase the participation of under-represented individuals and encourage individuals to gain skills, education and increase employment opportunities.
Strands will include mentoring, mentoring for work placement and project-based learning, alongside accredited courses.
College Connect+ has two divisions split between learners aged 16-24, and those aged 25 and over, recognising the different challenges these age groups may face. For those aged 16-24, College Connect+ is aimed at helping young students and care leavers who are not currently in education, employment or training with alongside careers advice and employability skills, alongside short courses.
For those aged 25 and over, not in education, employment or training, the College Connect 24+ will provide individual development plans alongside a range of short courses based on the needs of the individual, to support individuals into further training, education or employment. Typical short courses will include (list not exhaustive) CSR card, food hygiene, forklift- counterbalance and telescopic, digger driving, manual handling, working at heights, men’s haircutting, book-keeping, first aid.
For individuals with a learning disability and aged 16 and over, and unemployed or economically inactive, the DARE programme will provide skill enhancement and pathways into Further Education and employment. Support offered through DARE includes mentorship, goal setting and action planning based on the learner’s own needs. Expert advice from other organisations will also be provided, where appropriate.
WRAP seeks to provide unemployed and economically inactive women with the confidence, skills and work experience to progress to employment or return to further or higher education opportunities.
Funding may also be available to help with travel, childcare and equipment needed to complete courses.
Catriona Regen, Head of External Engagement at Southern Regional College commented:
“Many people feel unsure about their future but want to learn new skills and experience new opportunities. If this is you, you are not alone. Many people of all ages face challenges and barriers in their lives. That’s why Southern Regional College is here to help you through the Skills, Training and Employment (STEP Up) Programme.
STEP Up is a friendly and supportive programme that will help you rediscover your potential and achieve your goals. You will have access to a variety of courses that suit your interests and abilities. You will also have mentoring, to guide you along the way and provide you with feedback and encouragement.
Whether you want to find a job, pursue further education, or simply improve your confidence and well-being as the first step towards gaining employment, STEP Up can help you make it happen. Don’t hesitate to contact the College’s key workers today and find out how STEP Up can change your life for the better”.
With funding recently announced by the Department for the Economy, and provided by the UK Government under the New Deal for Northern Ireland initiative, the College will be delivering the Step-Up Programme alongside the five other further education Colleges in Northern Ireland.
For further information on any of the programme strands, visit the College’s website at: https://www.src.ac.uk/courses/step-up
Pictured to mark the launch of the STEP Up Programme are keyworkers Gerard Houlahan, Jenni Spice and Joseph McCaffrey alongside Catriona Regan, Head of External Engagement at SRC and Mariam Al Refai, student.