David Inglesby - a commitment to learning

Dave Inglesby is the Usdaw ULR co-ordinator for the on-site Learning Centre at Co-op Lea Green.  Dave and the Learning Centre have had a huge impact on workplace learning over recent years.

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The centre was opened, by the unions now General Secretary, Paddy Lillis and Learning Agreement signed in October 2015, after some lengthy negotiations with the site management team.

At the time of opening, the ULR team were already in place with an agreement of two ULRs on each shift.  Dave commenced his ULR role prior to the centre being opened in September 2015 and soon after became the ULR coordinator.

Dave’s role as coordinator is to support all ULRs on-site and liaise and build partnerships with local learning providers. He communicates and negotiates with management and plays an active role in the union branch structures. Dave’s job also carries a heavy admin load. He must manage and secure funding for the centre via the on-site Learning Fund, keep learner records up to date and ensure there is a varied and fresh learning offer to members.

The latest development is USDAW’s Mental Health Awareness campaign.  Dave has recently secured £4,000 from both the company and USDAW to deliver a Mental Health Awareness project which aims to establish Mental Health First Aiders at the site. 

The initial roll-out of mental health awareness courses for reps and managers through the learning centre resulted in a national course being delivered at every other Co-op site. 

This would not have been able to have been achieved if it wasn’t for Dave and the team of ULRs working with management, union reps and members.

In addition to the overall Lifelong Learning agenda and links to wider topics, Dave has continued to support the offer of Vocational Learning to members at Lea Green.  Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, Co-op has been very slow in rolling out a full Apprenticeship course offer. 

To overcome some of the problems that the delay has caused, Dave used his initiative very early on to secure funding to allow some Apprenticeships in Warehouse and Storage and IT to continue. The success of Apprenticeships, integrated with the company to run via the Learning Centre, has ensured that USDAW are very much involved in the recent roll-out of the Level 3 Team Leader and Management qualifications.

Usdaw Project Worker Julia Baldwin said.

It’s a measure of Dave’s success that there has been a total of 287 learning opportunities delivered through the Learning Centre in the past eighteen months.”

The breadth of learning is also astonishing ranging from English, Maths and IT to distance learning courses and apprenticeships.  The overall Lifelong Learning agenda continues to grow from strength to strength and is a credit to Dave as ULR coordinator and his team of ULRs.”