New independence unit assists foundation learning students

Birmingham Metropolitan College has been awarded £540,000 to provide a fully functional independence unit for Foundation Learning students in the Black Country.

The money was secured by Dudley Council to create exciting new facilities for young people in the Borough with complex and specific educational needs.

Dudley Council secured a total of £1,648.244 following three successful applications to the government’s 16-19 Demographic Growth Capital Fund - although the money is from the 16-19 fund it will continue to support young people up to their 25th birthday.

The new functional independence unit will be based at the Art & Design Campus in Brierley Hill where some Foundation Learning students studying catering already run the refectory, providing refreshments for students and staff.

Gill Coldicott, Faculty Director for Foundation Learning at Birmingham Metropolitan College, said:  "The additional money secured by Dudley Council will mean that more students with specialist needs in the Black Country will learn how to become more independent as well as helping them to develop enterprise and commercial skills leading to increased confidence and progression to education and employment.  The new teaching block at the Art & Design Campus will help students learn how to cook and clean as well as offering additional classrooms and recreational space."

Pauline Sharrat, director of children's services, said: "Dudley Council is really pleased to see this funding being used in such a positive way that will help young people develop skills to benefit them now and in the future."

Birmingham Metropolitan College offers a wide range of courses in the Black Country & Kidderminster for students who need extra support to learn, who need to enhance their skills before moving up a level, or who have a learning difficulty.  All courses offer progression routes onto higher level qualifications, employment or voluntary work.