During lockdown Bectu has been running a new, free, bitesize vocational learning programme that supports members in the creative industries keep up to date with knowledge and skills.
As part of the union’s response to COVID 19 lockdown, the Bectu sector (of Prospect) Union Learning Fund project quickly adapted to an agile and diverse programme of bitesize online learning. In the first month or so of operation , it was able to deliver 44 sessions reaching in excess of 500 learners across England. This learning is delivered via Zoom across the week, including evenings and a Saturday morning session.
The programme has been operating most days including a Saturday morning “feature” and open to members on a week by week basis, with new subjects being added all the time. Sessions are run by experienced members across Bectu’s various creative industries who are keen to share their knowledge and skills.
The Bite-Size Programme offers the unions members the opportunity to participate in enriching classes with groups of varying sizes, on a variety of diverse subjects.
Subjects have included sessions covering health and safety updates around electrical safety and risk assessment, advice on advancing your career and script writing for radio and the web.
Sessions also ran around health and wellbeing in isolation and even one on “Identifying the Age of Historic Buildings”.
Rachel Bennett, Education and Skills Manager, said:
What has been illuminating and truly inspiring has been the willingness of members to share their knowledge, experience and collectively work to improve each others’ skills."
The first 6 weeks of operation demonstrated how effective and valuable this online delivery and diverse skills support has been. Over 500 learning interventions."
This month Bectu is expanding their offer to include BAME Afro hair management and product knowledge plus now offer a regular COVID-19 risk session for freelancers, with an online short video, along with mental health and wellbeing .
In addition to our online adapted mentoring programme, a growing area of work is the careers support members require as we move into the next phase of COVID-19 pandemic.”
Members appetite to maintain, develop and expand their technical and soft skills, indeed knowledge of other sectorial issues and roles, is tremendous. Many commented positively about how it also offers them opportunity to find out about other industries and, importantly, develop their networking skills within an secure and enriching environment”.
Jenna is one member who recently took part in a New Entrants session delivered by Alison Surtees.
Jenna found the session very useful and said:
The small group size above all else was extremely beneficial, as it meant all participants were able to speak, ask questions and be heard.”
We completed a small task in groups, which also allowed for direct interaction with other new entrants, as opposed to just the speaker, which was very effective (and it's always great to meet fellow newcomers). The subjects covered in the hour were all very relevant and as I'd expected, I just wished it had been slightly longer."
Alison was very insightful and good at leading the group, and was very open to all sorts of related questions. Overall, a great session.”
Jenna felt that using online delivery was perfect for the subject and didn’t see how there would be much benefit in it being run in person.
Online we were able to be split into breakout rooms on zoom to complete a short group exercise, before returning to the main zoom chat to contribute our thoughts. Everything worked smoothly and efficiently.”
To find out the latest bite-sized training courses on offer go Bectu’s Vocational Learning page.