2020 ESF case study: Belfast Metropolitan College - College Connect

College Connect is delivered through a partnership of the six NI further education colleges. The lead partner is South West College.

Who does it support?

The project supports young people aged 16 to 24 to integrate into the labour market by delivering a mentor led programme which supports their holistic development and provides opportunity to achieve a full Level 1 qualification and assist progression into employment, education or training.

College Connect is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014 - 2020 and the Department for the Economy.

This case study tells of the experience of a participant who initially approached the College Connect project at Belfast Metropolitan College for help exploring opportunities for the future and is now working towards gaining a qualification in Vocational Skills.

Working for Essential Skills qualification

While at school, the participant was diagnosed with a number of conditions which meant that literacy and numeracy were a struggle. As a result he enrolled on Essential Skills training and while this has been a challenge, the participant has been working hard alongside the tutor to achieve the qualification.

Work placement

He also began a placement with a local catering contractor which ran for approximately five months. As a first experience of work the placement gave the participant the opportunity to see how a busy catering contractor operates. The role involved the set up and delivery of outside catering as well as hygiene and cleanliness of the kitchen. The catering contractor reported that the participant was hard working and diligent throughout his time on placement.

The participant has made many friends within College Connect and enjoys taking part in activities with the group.

He says,

“I like the course, it’s been good meeting new people”, adding that “working (with the catering contractors) has been good and I would like to work in deliveries in a job like this.”

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