Future of adult education secured


The future of a major provider of adult and community education in Plymouth has been secured through the transfer of On Course South West to Plymouth City Council at the end of this academic year.

From 1 August, the service provided by On Course South West CIC (Community Interest Company) will transfer to the Council, securing the delivery of a wide range of adult and community education for Plymouth as well as the employment of On Course South West staff.

The decision follows ongoing dialogue with delivery partner, On Course South West and is deemed the best option to ensure the continuity of service delivery to the city.

A delegated decision has been signed this week giving the go-ahead for the service to come back in-house.

This transfer will provide stability for learners and employees, ensuring the city continues to provide courses that help learners to develop skills, gain qualifications and entry to employment as well as achieve personal and professional goals.

Councillor Jon Taylor, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Transformation said: “We are taking positive action and stepping in to secure the future of adult education and help plan its future.

“Learning is not just something you do at school. It goes on throughout your life and these courses can literally change lives. People have started new careers, have got new skills they need to get promoted or to help their children with their homework.”

He added: “Adult education is not just a nice thing to have. We want to improve the education, basic skills and employability of vulnerable groups. We have city-wide plans which place high priority on upping skills – not just for young people but to encourage older workers to progress in their careers, or change careers entirely and make sure our opportunities can be shared by all and are inclusive ”

John Hamblin, Chair of On Course South West’s Board of Directors added: “Our priority is to safeguard the future of the adult and community education we provide for the people of Plymouth.

“The challenges we have faced have led to us seeking ways to secure the ongoing provision we offer. The transfer of the service to Plymouth City Council will provide stability for our learners and employees, ensuring learners can continue to access courses that help them to develop skills, gain qualifications and achieve personal and professional goals.”