Employees at Cornerways Nursery at British Sugar in Wissington who wanted to improve their English skills have just received certificates marking their achievement.
Cornerways, where a large portion of the workers is non-English speaking, has been working with Lynn’s College of West Anglia to provide the English classes.
The first three groups finished their course last week and attended a certificate presentation with the college to celebrate the success.
Sixty people took up all the spaces available on the course, but such was the response, many had to be turned down, although plans are in place to run more courses.
Brendan Henry, business systems manager, said: “The language barrier makes it difficult for both employer and employee to ensure the messages are being fully understood.
“This initiative was driven by the employees really wanting to learn the local language to improve both their work performances and also their social integration.
“We started looking at the challenge in the early part of the year and the college came up with a course which will lead to a City & Guilds accredited qualification.
“The classes started in September this year and we had such an overwhelming response that we had to turn down over half the applicants.
“Classes are delivered on site in small classes, grouped together by ability.
“We believe it is a win-win solution for all parties involved, the employees, the college and us as the employer.”
The benefits of improving English skills means that there is stronger engagement between employees and it gives people more confidence to ask questions.
Such has been the success of the initiative that Cornerways is looking to continue running more courses in the future.