A partnership between Lewisham College and the UK’s leading food-on-the-go retailer Greggs has been recognised by the Mayor of London at the first ever Adult Learning Awards.
The Adult Learning Awards were set up by the Mayor of London to raise awareness of the opportunities available through its Academy Programme and to celebrate adult learning in the capital, recognising the achievements of learners, learning providers, employers and community organisations.
Greggs was named ‘Learning for Good Work Employer of the Year’ at the inaugural event, thanks to the Sector Based Academy Programme (SWAP) it runs in partnership with Lewisham College to help adults into management roles within the business. The programme supports adult learners return to employment and take the next step in their career, offering a five-week course in which they can gain Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications and a guaranteed job interview with Greggs. So far, around 60 learners have successfully gained a managerial or supervisory role with the retailer, thanks to the partnership with the College.
Greggs was nominated for the award by George Khoury, Deputy Head of Employability Skills and Apprenticeships at Lewisham College. He said: “We’ve worked with Greggs over the past five years to develop and deliver this programme and Greggs has really helped us to change people’s lives.
“The programme shows people that there is a way back into employment and there are organisations and employers willing to help them. We’ve had so many success stories where learners end up successfully employed with Greggs and I’ve seen the way it helps them – they meet new people, make new friends and develop more confidence.
“I was thrilled when I found out that Greggs won this award because they really deserve it. They’ve worked so hard to support learners here at Lewisham College and I’m looking forward to continuing our work with them through the programme.”
Representing Greggs at the event to collect the award was Area Manager Funmbi Tikare, who said: “I am proud to receive this award on behalf of Greggs, and humbled at being nominated by Lewisham College. Greggs is committed to supporting people in our local communities, so it’s great to be able to support this program and assist people back into work.”
Speaking of the impact that further education can have on adults looking to retrain, Gerard Garvey, Executive Principal at Lewisham College, commented: “Lewisham College is all about unlocking potential and as part of NCG, we aim to enable social mobility for people of all backgrounds.
“This partnership provides vital opportunities to upskill and progress in life and is a fantastic example of how important it is to offer access to lifelong learning that can have real impact on our local community. Our Employability Team work very hard to provide programmes like this one and we couldn’t do it without the support of forward-thinking employers like Greggs, so it is wonderful to see that hard work recognised by the Mayor of London.”
The Greggs partnership is part of Lewisham College’s Hospitality Hub, an offshoot of the Mayor of London’s Academy Programme working with hospitality employers to provide skills and work-based training programmes, to help recruit Londoners into a career in hospitality.