Council praised for helping hundreds of people boost their skills and job prospects


Dover District Council has been commended for its work helping hundreds of people upskill, retrain and gain new qualifications. 

The Skills Renewal Project, led by EKC Group and Kent County Council, has given adults the chance to do free short courses, learn new skills to get them into work or even help them change their careers. 

It formed part of the government’s UK Community Renewal Fund, from which EKC Group successfully bid to receive £1 million for three Skills Renewal Projects across East Kent; Thanet and Dover, Folkestone and Canterbury, and Ashford and Swale. 

DDC was one of several partners working on the scheme, with the council engaging with people across the Dover district to get them enrolled on courses at EKC Group’s campuses. 

Jobseekers, people in work and particularly those furthest from the jobs market were encouraged to sign up to a wide variety of courses – from vocational subjects including plumbing, construction and beauty, to criminology, psychology and politics. 

And DDC’s hard work paid off, with an impressive 2,118 people starting courses to date, and some 403 gaining qualifications so far across the Dover and Thanet area. 

This far exceeded the predicted numbers of learners expected to sign up. 

DDC was commended for its work and presented with a plaque at a CRF celebratory event. 

Cllr Derek Murphy, cabinet member for skills and education at DDC, said: “It’s never too late to learn and thanks to EKC Group and the hard work of DDC, thousands of people are proving this to be the case. 

“Not only have jobseekers seized the opportunity to better their employment prospects, but those already employed have used this as a chance to perfect their skills or even retrain to broaden their horizons. 

“The number of people who have been enrolled has far exceeded the expected figures and this is down to the dedication of DDC staff for which they have been recognised.” 

Kirsty McChesney, EKC Group’s UKCRF Project Director, said: “We're extremely proud of the impact we've achieved throughout our partnership with Dover District Council on the delivery of our UKCRF Thanet and Dover Skills Renewal Project.  

"This project has created education and training opportunities which have significantly benefitted the people of Dover, developing skills and improving employment prospects. 

"The council has been instrumental in recognising key target areas and communicating the positives that community beneficiaries can gain through the project.  

“It's been excellent working with them, and the sheer number of residents we've helped is a testament to our strong partnership on the Community Renewal Fund project." 

Notes to Editors:  

Depending on their circumstances, some learners have been given help with travel costs, childcare or received a digital device, such as a laptop, to take home with them. 

EKC Group received £1 million from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund for the Dover and Thanet Skills Renewal Project. 


Posted on 09 November 2022

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