ACL Essex renews commitment to supporting residents and businesses with new strategy

ACL Essex / Wed 14th Jun 2023 at 08:09am

ADULT education provider ACL Essex, part of Essex County Council (ECC), has launched a new strategic plan, outlining their continued commitment and focus to providing a high-quality learning offer that makes a positive difference to the lives of residents and businesses of Essex.

By 2025 ACL Essex aims to have increased their support over a wide range of areas to boost business plus wellbeing and independence in local communities. Top of the list is to help more people on lower incomes into employment, better jobs or self-employment by offering highly targeted courses. The learning provider also wants to encourage more parents to get actively involved with their child’s learning; helping to support the next generation. Top digital skills for all adults are another priority alongside supporting young people into the world of work by providing a larger number of apprenticeships and training programmes. 

The new strategy explores a clear direction for the service’s future and provides Essex residents and businesses with an insight into the focus areas, goals, and how they will be achieved through a range of initiatives. 

Over the past 12 months ACL Essex has already seen a lot of progression in these target areas, such as the successful launch of the Parent Ambassador programme that offers one-to-one support to communities and families on a local level. Teams have also boosted access to basic skills courses, such as Maths, English and Digital Skills, which is enabling more people to get into employment, further boosting local economies and residents’ wellbeing and independence. 

The organisation is based upon strong social values and has expanded its wellbeing programme to support residents to lead health and socially included lives. ACL Essex has also embedded sustainability at the heart of its curriculum helping to support the environment. Across Essex its team of specialists are working to focus provision that supports specific areas of need for business and the local community, such as upskilling in levelling-up areas and targeted training to assist residents into key industries, such as care and construction.  

Lisa Jarentowski, ACL Essex Principal, aims to keep evolving the learning service to constantly meet the needs of Essex residents. She said: “We have developed a new strategy for our future because we understand the power of lifelong learning. Lifelong learning helps boost local economies, as well as residents’ health and wellbeing. Our learners come to ACL for a number of reasons, whether to gain a qualification, learn how to improve their mental health and wellbeing, gain support with the cost-of-living crisis and much more.”

She continued: “With our new definitive strategy that measures outcomes, we want to show how we’re promising to support Essex residents over the next few years. The new strategy will also be readily available in an accessible format, so residents can see clearly how we’re committed to improving their lives.”

The strategy also aligns with ECC’s Levelling Up project in addition to other initiatives aligned to skills and education.

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “The ACL three-year strategy has a strong focus on levelling up which is important to us for financial and economic reasons, but there is also a strong argument that a person’s potential should not be defined by where they live or their past academic experiences.”

He continued: “ACL plays a vital role in providing residents with the opportunities as an adult to enhance their skills, be that to progress in their current workplace, start a new career, or to improve their everyday lives. Moreover, learners come to ACL because they want to better themselves, their health, wellbeing and independence, their sense of community belonging, and their confidence and belief in themselves.”

ACL Essex’s learner and employer forums are also looking for learners and members from the business community to provide feedback and let the organisation know how they can focus their support. To find out more and get involved with shaping its future, visit www.aclessex.com/strategic-plan. 

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