Free online training for the long-term unemployed and school and college leavers is being provided by Me Learning as part of our social value agreement with Salford City Council.

Under the scheme, unemployed people have accessed our extensive library of e-learning content via our learning management system to build vital skills to help them secure employment.

Places are mainly allocated via initiatives to help the unemployed run by the council:

  • Salford Futures which helps local residents with little or no work history gain experience through work placements.
  • The Kickstart Scheme for young people aged 16 – 24 years, which provides access to paid work with local employers funded by the Government.
  • Salford Job Match which supports young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) to gain the skills and experience they need to find permanent employment.

In addition, a small number of voluntary sector organisations working across Salford on different projects have been invited by the council to allocate social value licences to their staff and volunteers, so they can benefit from online training at no cost.

A total of 156 Social Value learning licences have been utilised by Salford City Council. When this benefit is converted to an equivalent monetary value, it equates to £31,350.

John Brewder, Regional Director at Me Learning said:

“The vast majority of credit must go to the teams working tirelessly to support unemployed people in Salford. We are delighted that through our learning, we are making a small but vital contribution to the work they do preparing unemployed people for work. Of those who have been given a free licence to learn, an astonishing 71% have gone on to find employment. This is a really satisfying result and we are extremely pleased to be able to contribute.”

One of the Salford organisations to benefit from social value licences is JSENSE, an organisation working with the Jewish Community to support parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. They have commented:

“We use the licenses for our staff for safeguarding training. This allows us all to continue to work directly in supporting parents and carers, and children and young people with SEND. We are extremely grateful to Salford City Council for allowing us access to this training.”

Another initiative utilising the free social value licences is the Salford Relationship Service, which trains volunteers to become Parent Group Leaders who support parents. To supplement their own training programme, this service encourages volunteers to access Me Learning’s online library so volunteers have access to training on a broad range of related subjects. They have commented:

“The Me learning access allows the volunteers to access training that they identify as relevant to them and the skills they will need to deliver parenting courses to other parents. It allows them to complete courses not directly related to the parenting course strategies but relevant to some of the issues parents attending the courses maybe experiencing.”

Me Learning has been providing digital training services to learners at Salford City Council and nine other councils and their partner organisations across Greater Manchester since 2016. The councils rely on Me Learning to provide the technology so their employees and partners can access online training. They also have access to our library of training content, developed specifically for, and with, local government using subject-matter experts.

As part of this highly successful partnership between Greater Manchester Combined Authorities (GMCA) and Me Learning each council chooses where to allocate free training licences for social value purposes, according to their own priorities and objectives.

Since 2020, across all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities involved in this initiative, Me learning has provided access to 4,543 social value courses. When this benefit is converted to an equivalent monetary value, it equates to £176,100.

Click here to download the case study.

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