Virtual College

Affinity Sutton Ready2Work Service

Ilkley (UK), October 2016 - Affinity Sutton has selected Virtual College again as its online learning provider for its "Ready2Work" service, which last year supported over 1,000 people into work. Affinity Sutton is one of the UK’s largest national housing associations, with 59,000 properties across England.

In 2012, it launched Ready2Work, its national award-winning service, which helps tenants move towards work.

Affinity Sutton has a network of employment officers providing a wide range of support and developing agreed action plans with tenants.

Working in partnership with Virtual College, Affinity Sutton also provides free online learning training to tenants. Last year, over 3,000 tenants accessed these learning resources.

The scheme has been relaunched this year, with Virtual College providing a wider range of over thirty courses, hand picked to meet the specific needs of Affinity Sutton's Ready2Work service.

Tenants now have access to IT skills, including Microsoft Office training, and courses in life skills such as managing a home and healthy living. Employability support is provided by the online courses, and sector-skills courses are also included, which provide the specialist training required in certain types of jobs.

Ryan Matthews, Affinity Sutton's Employment and Training Team Leader, commented, "These eLearning resources provide a huge range of flexible, cost-effective options that will fit in with 95% of our tenants' needs.

"They can learn from home if they have IT access, but we also run sessions for those who need us to provide available IT or need some IT-skills support.

Tenants do not need to complete all of the learning in one go, but can work around their other time commitments by stopping and going back to the training when convenient. Learners receive a certificate on successful completion of a course. "Online learning is an important complement to the other services we offer to help people get into work."

Fiona Sheen, Customer Account Manager at Virtual College, commented, "It was great to see the enthusiastic response of the learners at a recent drop-in session I attended. This is a really useful and generous free service Affinity Sutton is providing to its tenants."