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Langside scores ahat trick of contracts

TROUBLED Langside College in Glasgow has plenty to cheer about going into the new year with the announcement of three major education and training initiatives.

The college, which last year was the focus for a campaign against job cuts by the College Lecturers' Association of the Educational Institute of Scotland, has secured contracts valued at approximately pound;700,000 and as many as 15 jobs will be secured.

A three-year programme funded by the European Social Fund and the college, in partnership with John Wheatley College and Glasgow City Council, will enable more than 180 people from local social inclusion partnerships (SIPs) and from ethnic minorities to undertake social care courses.

Expenditure, including matching funding from the partners, will total pound;1.5 million, a third of which will go through Langside. A pound;94,500 contract with the city council will see the appointment of a community development learning co-ordinator in the nearby Toryglen inclusion partnership.

One target will be those who have not had a chance to train for employment. A key feature will be a mobile suite of laptop computers for use at community venues.

Gaelic-speaking adults will benefit from a new pre-five unit. Over a two-year period expenditure by the college and the city's education department in the unit is expected to be in the region of pound;200,000.

Graeme Hyslop, principal of the college, said the new contracts are the rewards for the college's work during the past year. "We had to try something other than the traditional further education approaches and we are responding to the challenges of social inclusion.

"There is tremendous scope for development in all three initiatives. For example, the arrangement with the city council's social services department, which guarantees an interview and a job at the end of the course, could be extended to other departments . . . It is all about providing people from the poorer areas of the city with Glasgow training and Glasgow jobs."

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