Lack of basic skills is not an obstacle
There are, however, a couple of inaccuracies in an otherwise accurate and useful article. It states: "it is a Catch 22: without basic skills they are unable to enrol for college courses...."
While this makes a good point, it is untrue and damaging to the work you rightly spotlight, that of attracting "hard to find" students.
It has been a priority not only for Hackney Community College (not Hacney College, the article's other error - we need to distinguish ourselves from the old Hackney College, as part of our work to become more attractive to the needy young people you write about!) but for other colleges, to create and run "entry level" courses teaching basic skills to anyone needing them.
Not only that, but in fact Hackney Community College has a particularly strong basic skills section and has been running such courses for years.
Hackney Community College
Kellingham Road, London E5