OFSTED judged the Cheshire West and Chester Council’s adult learning programme to be ‘good’ for the third time in a row, following an inspection in March.

Inspectors praised the support for people who have been unemployed for a long time and those with mental health issues or learning difficulties.

The inspection report also highlighted the success of the borough’s four Work Zones which train people to the point where they are equipped to find jobs.

Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said: “This third Good judgement in a row demonstrates the consistently high standard of adult education offered by Cheshire West and Chester Council, designed to help unemployed adults access employment with a focus on those furthest away from the job market.

“The provision has been viewed by inspectors as shaped well to the needs of the most deprived communities. It has a high retention and achievement rate which prepare learners well for their progression to work and further learning.”

The inspector said: “Since the previous inspection, further development of the four Work Zone centres in Winsford, Northwich, Chester and Ellesmere Port has resulted in the successful recruitment of a high proportion of learners who have multiple barriers to employment.

“In these centres, learners with significant personal and employment barriers benefit from using a wide range of services such as psychological therapy, health and well-being programmes, careers advice and guidance and pre-employment courses.”