Learn About (Wales) Ltd (Caerphilly)

Origins

Lindsay Evans, the Managing director, was formerly a senior manager with the South Glamorgan TEC and TEC South East Wales (Training and Enterprise Council’s) and their successor body Elwa. His background was in developing and supporting programmes working with young people categorised as NEETs, long term unemployed and economically inactive adults. In partnership with Andrew Cooksley of ACT they developed this new approach to deliver training within communities. This delivery model moved away from training delivery in venues unfamiliar to people that have not engaged for many years by taking it to community centres and by doing so breaking down barriers that put people off engaging. David Williams and Louise Williams are Learn About’s other Directors responsible for the business support functions and also the shared services provided via ACT.

Success Factor

The key factors that have contributed to Learn About’s growth have been its flexibility and responsiveness to the ever changing environment and particularly to lever in additional funding to deliver complementary programmes such as the WCVA’s EU funded Engagement Gateway programme. This programme has allowed Learn About to work with even more people and in a more flexible and responsive way.

The Future

The aim is for Learn About to develop a network of satellite centres to support community based outreach engagement and training throughout the counties of greater Gwent, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Newport and Monmouthshire. In addition Learn About is investing in hi-tech IT, multi-media and music equipment and resources to develop more innovative and participatory programmes to stimulate and motivate young people and adults. Utilising Learn About’s current Engagement Gateway programmes it will also establish a recording studio, a photography and video recording studio, a gym and extend its horticultural and environmental work.