Hundreds of Ukrainian refugees take up English lessons after £1.2 million funding
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The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority have awarded c£1.2m to education providers to deliver English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for the 2021/22 academic year.
So far 307 refugees have taken the chance to take an ESOL course, which can help individuals settle into life in the UK, looking for employment and improve communication with doctors, teachers, and other people that students may meet through their daily routine.
Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “We are proud to be the only Combined Authority in the country that fully funds ESOL provision. Being able to speak the native language in any country has an enormous impact on quality of life.
“Refugees have already been through so much; it is imperative that we support them to resettle. That includes giving them the tools they need to access employment, understand and interact with the services they need, join clubs, and make friends. We can do that by offering ESOL to students.”
Teresa Prokopenko is one of the students who have taken a course. She said: “A good knowledge of English opens doors, it is the best way for me to be able to achieve a qualified job. Without a working understanding of English, I could only get a job as a cleaner. However, I have degrees in both Engineering and Business & Economics. I am hoping by doing these courses and improving my English, I will be able to get a more qualified role.”
Adult Education providers in the county which provide ESOL courses are:
Cambridge Regional College
Inspire Education Group
West Suffolk College
Peterborough City College
Cambridgeshire County Council and partners
College of West Anglia
Anyone wishing to access ESOL provision in the county should visit the website of one of the providers listed above for more information.