Have you ever heard of ELATT? I hadn’t heard of it either until, in June 2014, I saw an advert in the Evening Standard for trustee vacancies.
It turns out it’s a rather amazing education charity based in East London. East London Advanced Technical Training offers free courses in IT skills, English and employability skills along with work placements and apprenticeships with various employers to migrants, refugees and the long-term unemployed in East London.
That’s pretty cool, right? With my interest in both diversity and education, through my work at The Taylor Bennett Foundation, I thought it’d be something I might be able to add some value to and as they were specifically looking for people with some communications and recruitment experience I applied for a trustee position.
After an initial round of interviews and sitting in on some board meetings as an observer I was ready to commit – and then I fell pregnant so I asked the CEO and Chair of Trustees if I could put my application on hold. Fast forward to March 2016; I’ve just been appointed as one of their trustees which was pretty good timing because not only have they recently been awarded ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED and achieved gold Investors In People status, this week they’ve also won three of the Times Educational Supplement Further Education Awards – Employer Engagement, Training Provider of the Year and Overall Further Education Provider of the Year (that last one is the really big gong!)
It’s an absolutely astonishing achievement. It’s a relatively small charity but it’s punching well above its weight. It is the first time EVER that these awards have been won by an independent charity rather than a school or college. They were up against some really heavy hitters too.
ELATT is an excellent example of a well-run charity with stability, dedicated staff and really impressive outcomes – 84% of their students pass their English for Speakers of Other Languages qualification and 93% pass their IT systems qualifications, a third move into employment, often for the first time, and another third move into long-term volunteering in their communities.
They have strong relationships with employers too – although are always on the hunt for new firms to offer work placements.
I’m really delighted to have joined a board of committed trustees to help drive ELATT into the next stage of its development. So you may not have heard of ELATT before, but that’s about to change.