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North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) has clear ambitions for its people and communities, such as reducing barriers to participation, engaging children, young people and their families in reaching their potential, and improving health and wellbeing.

This ensures that Community Learning and Development (CLD) priorities are at the centre of North Lanarkshire’s plans to improve the life chances of its citizens.

In 2022-23, 7,710 learners engaged with the NLC CLD service, a 40 per cent increase from the previous year. NLC is the only Scottish local authority to have a Family Learning Team in place.

The First Steps to Family Learning programme, at SCQF level 5 with 3 credit points, provides basic knowledge on CLD ethics, and the CLD Standards Council Competency Framework and how it fits into national policy, including child protection.

It is aimed at anyone thinking of making a career move into CLD and develops and recognises essential skills in ICT, communication and numeracy.

It is also suitable for anyone with an interest in family learning, such as parents, or anyone working in a volunteer context.

Free training

The training is free of charge for anyone living or working in the North Lanarkshire Council area. It is community-based and delivered in local venues in towns such as Motherwell and Airdrie. 

NLC CLD worked with New College Lanarkshire to have the programme credit rated on to the SCQF.

SCQF level 5 is the entry level for anyone wishing to work in CLD at NLC, so this programme provides a unique opportunity for applicants to gain access to this career path with formal recognition on the national qualifications framework for Scotland.

Last year, the NLC CLD team delivered the programme to a group of young people employed as CLD assistant workers with the council as part of the Youth Guarantee.

Most have moved into employment, further or higher education, and have used their year’s paid work experience as a platform for gaining the essential working skills necessary to sustain employment in an area of their choice.

They have successfully found jobs with North Lanarkshire Council, Greggs and Motherwell Football Trust. Four of the group gained a place to study Community Education at the University of the West of Scotland.

Quotes from participants:

 What surprised me most about this programme was probably how interactive it was … because with a lot of our training it’s not interactive as much and I think we’re all going to go away with a lot more learning from this.

I think I liked best learning about all the different aspects of family learning that I didn’t know. I was in a baby group last term for placements and it was interesting, but I didn’t know a lot about it, so getting to see it in an actual CLD context was quite nice.

I did enjoy getting to talk about social issues and what affects parents and carers and kids, because that’s something I’m really passionate about. So it was a good thing for me to be able to talk about that.

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