The BFAWU has been supporting learning at Manor Bakeries in Stoke for over 10 years, with many workers having passed levels in English and Maths.
Much of this was due to the hard work of the unions Branch Secretary Richard Wainwright. However around six years ago Richard received a promotion. This was at a time the company was in a tricky situation, and the new branch secretary Warren Broomhall had to put supporting learning on hold whilst this was organised.
Fast forward 12 months, and a slight change in management, and Warren contacted the union’s learning services department to help restart the learning agenda.
The union and its reps set up a few meeting and open days they had a date to bring the learning provider in.
BFAWU Project Worker John Fox takes up the story and said:
The new provider we settled on was Axia Solutions. We started with two classes on Mondays at 12.30pm till 1.30pm and 2.15 till 3.15pm.”
The courses were in English and Maths from entry Level 1 up to Level 2. These courses have now been running for over 4 years with a great pass rate, most which have proceeded through all the levels.”
With all this learning happening at the site many people have been able to get internal promotions from machine minders to Line leaders and some up to supervisors. Others have gone on to further education in the forms of apprenticeships with training provider Valkyrai.
Warren also got a promotion to become the Training and Development co-ordinator which has gave Mick Blundred the chance of Branch Secretary. Mick is a keen advocate of learning and with his team of ULR’s he is promoting learning.
Ken Barrett, the HR Manager at Manor, has been working with the BAFWU, which has been a key factor in supporting the learning agenda at the site, as John explained:
Following discussions with the union Ken has provided the learners with a 50/50 package. When the learner has completed a level and passed then they will get paid 50% of the time that they have put in to do the course in a lump sum.”
The Bakers union have also updated the computers that they had in the learning centre, and also provided basic computer courses which will be running again soon.”
John is really pleased that the way the union has worked with the employer for the last decade and looking forward to the next 10 years.
Manor Bakeries Stoke are a very keen in providing training for their staff and are working closely with the BFAWU in giving the staff the training they require.”