CEO Anthony Harmer discusses the reskilling & retraining revolution with techUK

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On Friday 31st July 2020, ELATT’s CEO Anthony Harmer participated in a techUK podcast focussed on reskilling & retraining, also featuring Jacqueline de Rojas, President of techUK, Gillian Keegan, the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, techUK's Associate Director of Policy Vinous Ali and Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer at FDM Group.

Gillian Keegan, Chichester MP and Minister for Apprenticeships & Skills at DfE discusses the DfE’s ‘Skills Toolkit’ initiative, created to share free courses where people can improve their digital skills and therefore employability, accelerating their digital journey. It provides ways to retrain and learn skills needed for the 21st century and the jobs of the future. The launch of the Skills Toolkit was accelerated by the Coronavirus lockdown to ensure people could use their time wisely during lockdown to learn new skills and improve their appeal to prospective employers.

“Businesses with low level of digital skills capabilities are going to be left behind in this highly competitive environment” shares Sheila Flavell, COO of FDM Group. “Now is the time for organisations like us to come to the forefront and signpost where individuals can go to improve their tech skills”.

Anthony Harmer, CEO of ELATT, shares ELATT’s mission statement, “to provide people with the digital and employability skills they need in life and work”. He also shared our strong focus on 1 to 1 pastoral, welfare and educational support, as well as the challenges of adapting to the sudden transformation caused by COVID-19; from only 10% blended courses to fully virtual and online.

Post pandemic, Anthony believes we will see a far greater focus and importance placed on digital in the business sector and in education, thanks to the greater certainty offered by the digital realm, given it is less affected by circumstances like local lockdowns. ELATT has seen an increased uptake in digital skills and office skills courses –  people understand that skills transformation is going to be very important in near future. Anthony also participated in the Government’s Digital Skills Qualifications steering group and believes now is a great time to implement the recommendations made.

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Incredible global line up of speakers join ELATT’s 2020 Student Celebration

Incredible global line up of speakers join ELATT’s 2020 Student Celebration

Over 200 attendees join charity event with world class speakers; Dr Thomas Mensah, Judge Chantel Fortuin and Marva Rollins to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day and reflect on Black Lives Matter movement

ELATT, an award-winning training provider and charity offering Digital Skills, ESOL and other courses across London, welcomed speakers from around the globe on Friday 17th July, to join their online student celebration. The event focused on the themes of Black Lives Matter, International Justice Day (17th July) and Nelson Mandela Day (18th July).

Dr Thomas Mensah, one of the key inventors of the fibre optic technology that allows us to use the internet, joined the event from Ghana, and had attendees chanting the title of his book and mantra, “The Right Stuff Comes in Black Too! I can do anything I put my mind to!”. His story of growing up in Kumasi, Ghana, studying with scholarships in France and the USA, and being inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015 left the audience uplifted. Attendees left comments in the chat including “Thank you Dr Mensah - what an inspirational journey you've had in which we are all now benefiting” and “beautiful, what an amazing morning, from pain to purpose here I come”.

A focus on education was offered by Marva Rollins OBE, who shared her journey from being a single mother of three, to becoming the first black headteacher in the London Borough of Newham. Key messages from her talk included the importance of being kind, not only to others but to ourselves with our internal voice. She also gave practical tips to ELATT’s aspiring teaching assistants. Audience feedback included “It was very inspiring to hear Marva talk about the Windrush generation and how difficult it was” and “Yours is a wonderful and inspiring story, thank you Marva, for telling it with such warmth, honesty and clarity.”

Judge Chantel Fortuin, joining the event live from South Africa, offered some real gems of knowledge, highlighting that she didn’t realise justice could be used for means other than oppression for a long time. This realisation that she could make a difference and bring justice to the working class in her community gave her purpose to work hard in her studies, leading to her become an attorney whilst also working full time and raising a family. Comments from students included, “inspirational story and speech. Thank you Judge Fortuin” and “Thank you Chantel, for such a powerful, inspiring and massively positive speech.” Her story inspired us all.

 

An installation of student, staff and volunteer art and media work around the theme of equality and Black Lives Matter was also presented. ELATT are donating to Irie Minds in respect of this work. You can find the installation here www.elatt.org.uk/blacklivesmatter

ELATT are planning a series of events to celebrate black leaders and achievements – if you would like to attend or get involved, please click here or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are always happy to partner with employers to offer work placements, volunteering or mentoring – if you’d like to support our learners, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you’re interested in furthering your education and joining one of ELATT’s free training courses, check out ELATT.org.uk 


ABOUT ELATT - Over 30 years of bringing diversity into the workplace in London.

We’re an award-winning education charity, and since we started in 1984, we’ve supported hundreds of students to better their lives through employment.

Our vision is a London where everyone can flourish in their lives, no matter their age, background or circumstances. We welcome students who want to develop their skills, gain confidence and learn at any stage of their lives. Our courses include Web Design and Development, Computer Engineering, Digital Media Production, Business IT and English and maths.

Please also contact Catriona (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you would like to cover the event and find out more information.


IMAGES - More images can be provided if you wish to run the story.

Presentations on the day (Credit: Catriona Salisbury)

 

Inventor and scientist Dr Thomas Mensah (Credit: Dr Thomas Mensah)

 

Marva Rollins OBE (Credit: Marva Rollins OBE)

 

Judge Chantel Fortuin (Credit: Chantel Fortuin)

 

Councillor Anthony Okereke, the Labour & Co-op Councillor for Woolwich Common Cabinet Member for Housing (Credit: Royal Borough of Greenwich)

 

A young viewer joining with with Dr Thomas Mensah (Credit: Catriona Salisbury)

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Newsletter: January 2020

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Introduction with Naima Elmansouri, Head of Vocational Training 

‘This year for Digital Media Production we have introduced 2 new elements to our courses and have added brand new areas of learning to our curriculum. We also introduced a new Software Development course. Learners are taught Block programming using Minecraft, Python, and SDLC as new topics. 
We are introducing Unity software game design and 3D design & modeling to our programme to develop  their entry point skills in these areas. 
We are also introducing Software development Level 2 intermediate Python, Modelling (agile), Java  programming and Presentation methods (app in a day).
Our Software/Web Design and Development courses are contemporary, up to date to current industry standards and requirements. As the demand for web design & development in the job sector continues to grow, hence we strongly believe more and more students will benefit from these courses.'   

Find out more from our latest newsletter!

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Sopra Steria Welcomes ELATT

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On Monday 14 January Sopra Steria Graduates will take part in a Tech for Good hackathon for our London charity partner, ELATT. In a day-long hackathon event, our grads will work in teams with Sopra Steria coaches to create solutions to one of ELATT’s critical business challenges. At the end of the day, the best ideas will be selected by the senior team from ELATT, and the charity plans to implement the solution or solutions that best meet their needs.

This event is co-sponsored by the Early Careers, Community, and Digital Innovation teams, and is part of our Tech for Good Programme, which is focused on using our digital, technology and business expertise to create positive impacts in the world.  It is also an important part of our hands-on, impact-focused approach to learning and development in our Graduate Programme.

ELATT is an award-winning digital skills training college offering opportunities for learning and qualifications to under-served people, helping them get the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

Anthony Harmer, CEO of ELATT, said,
‘As an education charity with big ideas but limited resources, this Hackathon provides us with an invaluable opportunity to draw on the insight and expertise in the Sopra Steria team to help us improve our services for our students and turn our ambitions into reality.’

Kaila Yates, Sopra Steria Chief Marketing Officer and board sponsor of our Community Programme said,
‘We know that digital technologies are transforming organisations every day.  We believe that our charitable partners like ELATT will be able to do more with digital, and helping them make a difference for their students and the London communities they serve is an exciting opportunity for us and a great example of our Tech for Good programme.’

For more information, have a look at the original blog on Sopra Steria's website:

Read more

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How mentoring can support your learning at ELATT

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“ELATT is a place that motivates you to achieve your goals. The staff are always happy to help you.” 

Sheldon’s experience of helpful tutors and mentoring during his studies shows our dedication to students getting first-rate support; that’s why our tutors are among the only 5% who received Grade 1 (outstanding) at our last Ofsted inspection and are here to support you through your studies. 

Martina also turned to her mentor when a challenge arose, and a solution could be found that allowed her to both work and make it through her course successfully. “I got a job and thought I would have to stop the course as my shift pattern fell on my study day. My advisor said I could continue with the course and arranged for me to have support on my days off to cover the course and class hours.” 

Starting a course or developing your skills is a process of discovery and is, often, a struggle. It may be that mentors lending you a hearing ear or advising you during your studies is just what you need to get support and complete your course successfully.

Meet Oran

“I believe it is important to understand what is going on for our learners, in all aspects of their life, to help them to achieve. This is why our provision is so successful”. Oran is here to mentor students or provide coaching when they need it, and has been doing so for 15 years, 5 of which have been at ELATT. He has qualifications in counselling for both young people and adults, has trained in coaching and mentoring, and is currently training as a SENCO.

Whether you need information on how to improve your practical life circumstances, coaching sessions or solutions for learning challenges, Oran is here for you. He offers one-to-one sessions to find the tailored support you will need to complete your course to the best of your ability.

Although it can be a challenge to find the time to study, if you want to get ahead in your career or change direction, we are here to help you find ways to balance your life commitments.

Ask Janet about your options

Martina’s advice as a student is to “talk to one of the advisors to get out of the negative place you may be in. The services can give you a wider knowledge of all the different resources, help and advice out there.”

Speak to Janet and she can advise on your choice of courses and the support you may need to take that next step. Feel free to set up a one-to-one meeting with her to discuss your options in more detail. 

Call Janet

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our graduates:

Fundamentally, our students graduate thinking differently about themselves and their future.

"Instead of saying I was too old, ELATT helped and encouraged me every step of the way..."
Mike, Marketing Strategist

"I don't think I would be where I am today if ELATT hadn't helped me take those first steps..."
Frankie, Game Designer

 "ELATT gave me the confidence and new technical skills that were so valuable to me for my studies and at work..."
Charles, IT Manager

ELATT is a community created by students who take the lead with their future. Let us help you develop your skills and potential that will get you where you want to be.

Join our learning community today.

Browse our courses

 

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Impact Report

Impact Report

Have you seen our latest Impact Report yet?

We are a constantly evolving organisation helping people of all ages improve their lives. We help individuals gain skills and improve existing ones through training, mentoring and employment support. Our latest Impact Report showcases our achievements from the past year and is a great round up of all the things we are most proud of from 2015/16.

Last year we worked with 574 individuals who received over 700 qualifications with 9 out of 10 students achieving a qualification in 2015/2016.

Highlights of the report include:

  • 83% of students progressed into further or higher education in 2015/2016
  • 88% of our students said they had improved their workplace skills upon course completion
  • 92% of our trainees aged 16-23 progressed into apprenticeships in 2015/2016

Here’s what our students said about us:

  • Frankie who has now started a career as a game developer said “I don’t think I would be where I am today if ELATT hadn’t helped me take those first steps.”
  • Zak who did an apprenticeship with ELATT said “My apprenticeship taught me more than I expected: I learned numerous skills that helped me both personally and professionally.”
  • Ayse who has built a career in network management said “After 15 years without work, I have gone from zero to working in the city.”

2015/16 was a huge year for ELATT and we want to say a huge thank you to all our staff, students and supporters. We can't thank the ELATT learning community enough. The future can only get better!

Intrigued? Find out more in our latest Impact Report.

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ELATT’s Head of Life Skills and Community featured in InTuition magazine

ELATT’s Head of Life Skills and Community featured in InTuition magazine

Did you see Naffy (our Head of Life Skills and Community) in the recent InTuition magazine from The Education and Learning Foundation? The article is now open to everyone.

 InTuition magazine is an industry recognised publication and this is a fantastic achievement for both ELATT and Naffy.

'SET members like Nafisah Graham-Brown bring opportunity to some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in British society.' Alan Thomson, editor of InTuition, reports.

http://bit.ly/ETFSnippet 

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Community learning is the key for post-Brexit Britain

Community learning is the key for post-Brexit Britain

In June 2017 Anthony (ELATT, Chief Executive) was featured in TES online. Check out his inspirational thought piece now…

Community learning is the key for post-Brexit Britain

“Tes subscribers can read the full version of Anthony’s article here. For the latest news and views about the FE sector, visit www.tes.com/fenews



Community Learning is the key for post-Brexit Britain

The work of one inner-city charity offers a blue print for bridging the skills gap and bringing society closer together, says its chief executive Anthony Harmer.
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In less than two years' time, Britain will be standing alone, outside the European Union and probably outside the single market as well. This is a good time for us to start imagining what we want our country to look like in 2018, and to begin putting the plans in place to make it happen.
From my perspective, we face two big challenges ahead. The first is how we address the national skills gap – the difference between the skills demanded by our economy and the skills already possessed by our workforce. This gap has been growing for years and it is likely to widen dramatically if fewer highly qualified people from the EU are able to plug the skills gaps in the UK workforce due to more stringent visa restrictions when Britain leaves the single market.
That will have serious implications for businesses recruiting in the UK, with a knock-on effect to the economy as a whole.
The second big challenge is how to ensure that our society continues to flourish as one of the most open, diverse and creative out there. We live in a global world and we shouldn’t allow Eurosceptism to transform into a small-minded fear of difference.
So how are we going to address those challenges? When I need inspiration, I look around me to the people living and working in my local area, Hackney in East London.
Hackney is a proudly diverse place. Two-fifths of our residents were born outside the UK; we have large African, Caribbean, Turkish and East European populations (that have been here for many generations), as well as more recent migrants from Western Europe, Australasia and the US.
The largest Haredi Jewish community in Europe lives alongside Christians, Muslims and people of no religion. Hackney residents get along well together and the main thing we’re proud of is the area’s diversity.
As a musician, I’m also inspired by the many sons and daughters of Hackney who’ve contributed to our nation’s art and culture – surely a product of our borough’s multicultural melting pot.
Of course, not everything in Hackney is perfect. It’s one of the country's most deprived areas, with distressingly high levels of child poverty, below-average employment rates and job growth concentrated in part-time and low-paid work.
Yet in my work at ELATT, a charity that has spent over 30 years tackling worklessness and poverty in the local area, I see what people of all backgrounds can achieve when we give them the tools to succeed.
Take Salma, now a market research professional who came to Hackney after being forced from her homeland by civil war. At first, Salma struggled to find work in London, so she enrolled on an English language course at ELATT. Alongside her course, she got volunteering experience, developed her employability skills and later progressed to an IT qualification. #
Now she’s working as an office administrator and looking forward to building her family’s future in London. Stories like Salma’s make me proud to work in adult education. They also make me determined to share the knowledge we’ve developed in our sector with the people who make policy decisions on a national level.
I firmly believe our experience of working with adults to develop their skills in a diverse environment is the way forward for a post-Brexit Britain.
Firstly, I’m convinced that social integration is fundamental to improving our society. Genuine community and workplace diversity combats negative stereotypes and builds social cohesion. ELATT has worked with thousands of migrants and refugees - and with their involvement and passion we have seen communities positively transform.
To do that, we need to invest in an adult skills sector that takes a holistic approach to learning. That means a sector that harnesses the variety of talents within our adult learners, one that is inter-disciplinary and multi-skilled and takes learners out of the classroom and into the workplace or community.
Skills development and social integration run side-by-side. That’s true for young people who’ve been marginalised from education, it’s true for long-term unemployed adults and it’s also true for new migrants and refugees.
Like many providers in the third sector, our model of integration includes English training, basic and vocational skills and community volunteering for adults. We believe equipping refugees and their children with a range of English, digital, technical and work skills is the best way to prepare them to participate in the UK marketplace and make us the global leader in skills and training.
And one more thing – adult learning should be fun. When Ofsted came to ELATT, it was struck by the down-to-earth humour of our teachers and learners. It’s no accident that they picked up on this. Communities are built on positivity, on laughter and on hope for the future. Now, more than ever, we should remember that.

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