All aboard the Exeter learning bus

Exeter St David's Railway Station hosted the First Group/Unite learning bus on 23rd September 2015 in a celebration of learning. 

The event was organised by ASLEF’s Lead Union Learning Representative (ULR) Phil Buxton, who co-ordinated the different element to make the day a success. Phil sits on The Learning Steering Committee at Great Western Railways which is a joint working initiative with the company comprising of ASLEF, RMT, TSSA & Unite, working to the common goal of bring learning opportunities to the workplace. 

The Learning Bus © Private

Phil worked with Great Western Railways (GWR) to secure the venue and arranged for the bus to travel from the North of England. The Learning Bus is a Unite the Union and First Bus venture and is kitted out with computers and wifi, making it the perfect vessel to bring learning to the learner. 

Phil was able to utilise his contacts within local providers PETROC College and Jessops to support the event, and used both the company’s and union’s internal communication systems to promote activities.

On the day, Great Western Railway Training and Development Team were on hand to discuss internal training options within GWR and the Institute of Railway Operations. The ULRs ensured that the day was a success by encouraging colleagues to take part and conducting Learning Surveys. PETROC were able to provide advice/guidance on courses and funding opportunities. They took enrolments for the Distance Learning programmes and participants also had the opportunity to take part in photography sessions & gain expert knowledge from the Jessop photography Academy Team.  

ASLEF Learning Project Worker Emma Penman said after the event:

Well done to Phil Buxton and to for all those that helped to make the day a success. Though organised by ASLEF this was a really good cross union event that all the workplace unions and members took part in, along with the support of the employer."

RMT Learning Organiser Karen Skelly said:

The event was a real success and the working relationship built up between the RMT and ASLEF ULRs as well as with First Group was great. It was brilliant to have the Learning Bus here for the day. It acted as a real focal point for the workers at Exeter St David and around, to come along and start a learning journey that could last for the rest of their lives."