A £57,000 grant from Children In Need aims to open up new opportunities for asylum seeker, refugee and BAME background students at Bradford College.
The funding has been offered through BBC Children in Need & Inspiring Futures to run the project with the college’s students of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The project aims to boost language and employment skills and self-confidence for around 150 students aged 16-18 and 50 students aged 18-24.
The classes taught in ESOL include refugees, asylum seekers and learners from BAME backgrounds, some of whom have experienced trauma, some live alone, and many of those with family members are the carers and translators for parents or siblings. The language barrier between ESOL students and their peers can add to feelings of isolation and exclusion from the workplace, which the project will support students to overcome.
The project will fund a coach to support students to overcome specific barriers as well as helping them to develop skills, giving them the confidence to apply for jobs, take part in job interviews and succeed in the workplace.
Cristina Nicolae, the Curriculum Team Leader for ESOL, said: “The project aims to reduce social exclusion and instil leadership skills in young people. They will also be supported to gain volunteering positions as well as become peer mentors for our student cohort in the following years.”
The grant has been made possible by Inspiring Futures, a joint funding programme between BBC Children in Need and the Youth Futures Foundation. Inspiring Futures supports organisations working to improve employment outcomes for young people who face disadvantage across the UK and who have been affected by the impact of COVID-19.
Craig Tupling, Vice Principal at Bradford College, said: “At Bradford College we believe everyone deserves support and opportunities to reach their goals and potential. We are thankful to Children in Need and the Youth Futures Foundation for their grant which enables us to continue to help people overcome disadvantage or lack of opportunities, and transform their lives.”