In October, URTU Union Learning Rep (ULR) Damien Gill, who works at Clipper Ollerton, a logistics business near Newark on Trent, organised an event to coincide with unionlearn’s Maths Workout Week.
Damien is keen to promote learning on the site and decided to encourage colleagues to try some maths at work, holding a maths quiz with prizes going to people who scored 100%. He felt that the doing something, even if it was limited, could help re-introduce the idea of learning to the site.
There was a great uptake amount staff and four members of staff managed to get 100%. A small presentation was done to the deserving winners, and they were presented with goodie bags donated by the URTU Learning Project.
These were presented to Sarah Belcher, Brandon Taylor, Jennifer Holey and Billie Chatterton. The event was designed to try and breakdown the barriers that exist to learning, especially when it comes to maths.
Damien feels that the more people who engage in learning the less daunting it becomes, and he has also managed to get over 100 members of staff interested in functional skills courses. Many others interested in the free Distant Learning Level 2 courses that are available through the union.
The union also have engaged with Axia Solutions, a provider who are based in Stoke and very union friendly. To date 38 individuals have undertook initial assessments and 70 more will take place over the coming weeks.
Simon Walker is an URTU ULF Project Worker has been working with Damien and feels that the positive attitude of the employer has helped begin to nurture a culture of learning as well.
Clipper at Ollerton have been very supportive and are extremely keen to upskill their staff with the aim of reversing their current position, which is predominately agency staff, in favour of having the majority of staff actually employed by Clipper with only a small reliance on agency staff.”
They seem to get the importance of educating their staff, there is also talk of getting our involvement at the induction stage so individuals are equipped with the basic functional skill right from the start of their employment.”
Simon is positive about the future and said:
The site is very active regarding learning at the moment and we hope that this is just the start.”
URTU Union Learning Fund Project Manager Jeff Latham said:
The Maths Workout Week event is just one example of the hard work that our ULRs do to help bring learning to the membership and the union would like to thank Damien for all the hard work he has done at Clipper Ollerton.”