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Engaging Adults in Learning award

Giving everybody a chance to create a stable future for themselves, no matter their background, is a key driver for independent training provider RMF Group. They design training programmes which are simple and easy to access and offer guaranteed interviews for all learners.

RMF have been successful in supporting ex-offenders and the long-term unemployed into jobs in the construction, rail and equine industries. They have seen a reduction in re-offending rates and an improvement in employment rate for this group, three times the national average.

"We think it's important to engage adults in learning because they deserve the opportunity to realise their potential regardless of what they may or may not have achieved beforehand. So our approach is to meet people where they're at, give them support and guidance, as well as the additional skills they need," said Kathryn Michaels, Strategy and Growth Consultant at RMF.

Taking that first step back into adult learning can be difficult. To help their learners, RMF are committed to providing whatever support is needed for learners to successfully complete their course, whether that is support for Maths and English, delivering one-to-one mentoring, providing accommodation and resettlement services for learners without a fixed address, or helping ex-offenders who are adapting to life outside of custody. This helps learners to achieve the best possible outcomes and feel fully prepared to embark on a new career.

This innovative training provider has strong links with employers across the West Midlands, enabling learners to access jobs and valuable work experience on high profile projects such as HS2, Metro Link and community housing projects. The courses are employer-led, with recruiting employers providing each learner with a guaranteed interview.

Construction and rail courses are taught at dedicated facilities, enabling learners to gain skills and experience of working with a wide range of equipment and machinery on a real site. The equine course is delivered in partnership with Solihull Riding Club, providing learners with vaulable experience of working with horses in the workplace. One of the learners has gone on to work at the Grand National through his job with Milton Harris Racing, gained as a result of the programme.

Molly Forsyth from RMF Group says: "Our aim is to leave no learner behind and to make change happen in the local communities of the West Midlands. We create careers and invest in the personal development of our learners, by improving their employability through professional coaching, community activities, and one-to-one mentoring."

David, who took part in one of the programmes, said: "RMF gave me a fresh start and turned my life around when I thought I wouldn’t get a second chance after being inside. After gaining my qualifications, I worked for J. Murphy and Sons as a Site Supervisor. I have since returned to work for RMF Group, and progressed into a CPCS supervisor role at the RMF Training Academy, to give people the opportunities that I was given once upon a time."