WEST ADULT GUIDANCE AND LEARNING EXCHANGE
Minutes of meeting held on 13 May 2009 at 10.00am
Norwood Community Wing,
Sylvie Henocque, Development Officer
Dawn Staff, minutes
In attendance (from 11.00am): Donald Lumsden (Careers Scotland) and Claire Murray.
APOLOGIES: Malcolm Bruce, Maria Anderson, Brian Thompson, Harry Woodward, Claire Downs,
No MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING – 5 February 2009 ACTION
GW said there was an amendment to point 5:05/02/09. It should
read, “he stated all Napier courses are SCQF accredited, as
Edinburgh Napier aim to have their courses operate at around level 7
on the SCQF rating. George added it would be their long-term hope
that they could deliver either accredited courses, or credit levelled
courses, but that is an ambition, not current practice”.
9:13/05/09 MATTERS ARISING
DP reported Patricia Ilsley, HMiE, who attended the WAGLEx
meeting in February, was quite impressed with the WAGLEx working
and learning partnership.
Saturday Morning Courses
DS stated two Saturday morning classes, „Introduction to Word‟ and
„Beginners Quilting‟, would be running at Kirkliston Community
Centre on 20 June 2009 from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon. DS said
there had been some interest in putting on a digital photography
class on a Saturday morning; however, it thought this class might be
better for the autumn term. Additional ideas for classes at Ratho
Station and Kirkliston were First Aid and Food Hygiene courses – ACTION
though the tutors usually charged per person to run them. LMc
raised the issues of perhaps charging for CBAL courses in the future
and it was agreed to discuss this at a future meeting. DP asked if DP
other partners could contribute or deliver courses on a Saturday
morning to local people and DS said she would look into this. DS
DP said Adele McCaughey was contracted for 17 weeks to develop DP/DS
the GAPs programme in Edinburgh and a meeting was arranged for
all GAPs workers in the West and South West of Edinburgh on 2
June 2009 at Norwood Community Wing. The aim of the meeting
was to give people support and highlight any problems they have
experienced, and to update staff on GAPs.
There was a discussion around GAPS and advertising and BS said
there had been problems when printing the leaflets in colour.
The Western Volunteer Forum would like to use the Gala events in
the West to recruit volunteers and make people aware of voluntary
There are a number of events coming up:
The raft race in South Queensferry - 24 May.
Clermiston/Drum Brae gala - 30/31 May
Kirkliston Gala - 13 June from 10.00am.
Davidson Main‟s Children‟s Gala Day, in the grounds of
Lauriston Castle. 20 June, join the parade at the Green in
Davidson's Mains at 11.30am.
Altogether in the Park, Sighthill Park, 18 July, £5 per stall,
contact: Marie Anderson on 455 7731.
Ferry Fair Week throughout South Queensferry, including
Burgess Park, 10 to 15 August. Contact: David Steel at
CLD are in the process of collating a list of summer activities on the
City of Edinburgh Council website. LA asked people to obtain
feedback from the gala days, even if organisations are running an LA
education stall to determine attendance and availability.
11:13/05/09 INFORMATION EXCHANGE
Vickie Hobson, WEA Scotland
VH explained the WEA‟s area of work involves working with external
organisations and employers teaching literacy, numeracy and ESOL
classes in the workplace to their employees. Some of the
organisations they have been working with are housing support,
home care, Royal Mail, public sector and the Indian Building
Consortium. VH said the Indian Building Consortium have 100
Punjabi who need help learning English. VH also reported dyslexia
awareness is also of interest to employers. ACTION
The WEA were also involved in the „adult learners week‟ and
„learning at work week‟ in Scotland.
LMc – CLD
LMc said she has been involved in setting up family ESOL courses
and a literacy/family health initiative in Drum Brae. In addition, she
is involved in looking at setting up drop-in sessions for literacy
learners during the summer.
SH – SwapEast
SH distributed information packs to the group members at the
meeting. She said the website on the pack was now incorrect and
the new website is http://www.scottishwideraccess.org SH stated
students do not need a qualification to attend an access programme,
though some of the courses need maths so it is important students
check the course programme or the advertising flyers.
AP – Kirkliston and Norwood Community Wing
The two first aid classes were well attended and AP thought it would
be an idea to run another class aimed at parents in the autumn. AP/DS
The GAP sign is now outside Kirkliston Community Centre.
Will send a list of events in the West and Almond area to DS. GB/DS
LA – CLD
The CLD in the West is looking at provision and opportunities for
volunteers, as there are no support networks. In addition, they are
look at training and guidance for volunteers.
BS – CLD
BS is involved in organising classes during the summer.
12:13/05/09 LINKS WITH NEIGHBOURHOOD PARTNERSHIPS.
DP asked people to notify each other of events and activities in the
neighbourhoods, and felt it was important to promote learning in the
13:13/05/09 PRESENTATION – DONALD LUMSDEN FROM CAREERS
DL reported that by the end of last year recession had reared its
head. Careers Scotland was an all age service, which initially had up
to 50% of its clientele up to the age of 21. Since the recession,
adults now make up 70% of people contacting Careers Scotland and
since Christmas, Careers Scotland has been notified of major
redundancies. He stated they were now seeing professional staff
that were facing redundancy or had been made redundant. Some of
these people were looking at retraining. DL explained that ACTION
organisations that make more than 20 people redundant have to
inform the Secretary of State within 90 days. He felt the notice
might go down due to the current situation.
Careers Scotland provides a redundancy support pack which can be
obtained from their office. DL passed copies of the pack to WAGLEx
members for their information. DL said Careers Scotland, along with
other partners are meeting on a regular basis to look at how to
respond to redundancy in an organisation. They also offer to go into
the organisation to speak to employees about the Inland Revenue,
Careers Scotland and Job Centre Plus. He said the first priorities
were to discuss benefits, tax and careers guidance.
DL said there had been a number of redundancies within the
construction industry, especially from smaller firms. There have
been numerous people made redundant from the financial sector,
though the numbers were still unclear, but it was near 5,000. He
stated that the major numbers of these people would leave the
financial sector firms at the end of the year. Some people have
been given a long notice period.
There are short, sharp courses being set up in Scotland for people
who have been redundant or who are unemployed to attend as part
of retraining. DL said FE colleges were under severe pressure and
applications for courses had gone up. He felt colleges needed to be
flexible in developing courses and it will be interesting to see how
the FE/HE colleges respond to the current recession. Roughly, a
quarter of all students drop out of the FE colleges and he said FE is
not for everyone.
Currently there are 8,000 job seekers, which is 40% higher than last
year. DL felt this figure would rise at the end of June when school
leavers sign on for employment. He also reported the job centre
vacancies had fallen by 55% with 10 people chasing every vacancy.
Currently, 30% of vacancies are in the public sector, 25% in
retail/hospitality and education, and 30% in finance/IT and the
remaining 15% are in other areas/disciplines. It is difficult at this
time to forecast where the jobs are going to be. The most probable
likelihood of vacancies will occur in the caring sector, health and
DL said the workers could refer people to the Careers Scotland
website, although the site is due to be changed. Other useful sites
are LearnDirect Scotland and Skills Development Scotland.
A discussion arose around using libraries and their PC‟s, and the time
limits on the machines and other options for people and learners to
use PC‟s to job search.
DL said he would like Careers Scotland to get to the stage where the
website was accessible all over Scotland. He would also like parents
to be able to use the website with their children to release ACTION
resources, as staff are over stretched due to the current situation.
He pointed out thought the situation for school leavers will be as bad
as twenty years ago. However, clients who have been made
redundant are the current priority.
Twenty per cent of school leavers will have literacy and numeracy
problems and DP said she would like to see people referred to the
Big Plus etc. LMc stated she had not been receiving new referrals to
the literacy and numeracy classes unless they were already
attending other courses and had been referred through them.
DL ended the presentation stating Shandwick Place offer workshops
on CV writing, interview techniques and career planning.
14:13/05/09 DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 13 October 2009, 12.45
pm for coffee for 1.00pm start. Venue: The Boardroom, Dunedin
Canmore 8 New Mart Road, Edinburgh