TSNLA provider scoops 2016 TES Awards

ELATT Connected Learning beat off stiff competition from some of the biggest and best national Further Education (FE) Colleges and training providers to win three major awards at the prestigious 2016 TES FE Awards, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in Park Lane, London.

The first ever Third Sector training provider to claim the flagship prize of Overall FE Provider of the Year Award, ELATT defied all expectations by also scooping Training Provider of the Year and the prestigious Employer Engagement Award – an award that recognises innovative working with employers to get people into real jobs. As a voluntary sector organisation, this achievement is all the more impressive as charities are not always seen as the traditional route into skills and employment.

ELATT made use of its charitable status to work with employers’ Corporate Social Responsibility departments to get industry professionals working closely with both learners and teachers. Tech City Digital start-up Crowdskills helped develop digital media and web design workshops, and supported unemployed learners with knowledge and skills around working in IT. It also provided realistic work placements and gave advice on how to network to find employment.

The results speak for themselves. In an industry where competition for jobs is fierce and skills needs shift incredibly quickly, over a third of the learners found immediate employment in IT, and the rest were placed on a freelance register for future work.  All are now qualified and experienced to compete alongside graduates for prestigious jobs in the IT industry.

The connected learning and work model has been recognised by Ofsted, who awarded ELATT a Grade 1 Outstanding, and it has now been rolled out across other curriculum areas such as IT Engineering, Business Start-Up and Business Administration.

The Award Judges described ELATT as an “outstanding initiative” achieving a “remarkable impact dealing in a difficult area and cohort”. They also said ELATT had “pioneered a new approach to employer engagement” through its ground-breaking partnerships.

ELATT Chief Executive Anthony Harmer said “This Award is a fantastic endorsement of the importance and value that the third sector has in getting those marginalised or furthest from the labour market into sustainable employment. I hope that this will help raise the profile of voluntary organisations such as ourselves, and the part we can play in supporting local people into real jobs.”

Chair of TSNLA (Third Sector National Learning Alliance) Cheryl Turner added, “Congratulations to all at ELATT for this brilliant achievement. The third sector is often forgotten as governments focus on FE Colleges to deliver the jobs and skills agenda but these Awards show this is not the whole story. Not-for-profit providers such as ELATT play a vital role in supporting those most in need to get the skills and jobs they need to flourish. We are very proud to have ELATT’s expertise on our board as a Trustee.”

Director of Crowdskills (employer), Iman Fedaei says, ELATT’s “clients have many additional needs and would get lost in the system elsewhere.  But here they thrive.” 

Senior Project Manager of Opus 2 (employer), Kiran Noonan said of working with ELATT:  “We have seen an improvement in our own staffs’ wellbeing as a result of volunteering. This has meant people are more committed to the business and the partnership as a result.”

Learner Ayse (unemployed for 15 years and now an IT Manager) says “I have gone from zero to working in the City in front-line IT support and being so very excited about my future”


Learner Frankie (ex-offender, now a Game Designer) says “I don’t think I’d be where I am today if ELATT hadn’t helped me take those first steps into training and believed in my ability to progress and succeed.”