Making ESOL convenient for Usdaw learners

USDAW ULRs and Tesco management have worked together to organise and run the first ESOL course for Express staff at the Croydon dot com learning centre. 

Books to help ESOL at work

Setting up lifelong learning is never easy, but some types of projects are much more difficult than others. Shop workers union Usdaw understands that one of the most difficult is engaging staff in convenience stores. They have very few staff and erratic customer patterns and it’s never easy to release staff for courses. But that has put them off supporting learners in these stores.

Lawrence Miller, Usdaw Divisional Project Worker, said.

We have been breaking down barriers and working to secure the course for a long time.”

Now we have funding, a good provider and paid leave for the employees to attend so all the hard work has paid off.”

The course is certified and recognised and runs once a week until the end of November. It is specifically designed to help candidates with their day to day English: in person, on the phone, written and reading with a bit of a business/retail bias. All students have been assessed and streamed by level, so they get the maximum out of the experience.

Lawrence said:

Our ULRs are making sure that students get the support they need. The course will be held at Croydon Dot Com which has parking and is also easily accessible by train/tram. A ULR will welcome people at reception and we have arranged for the tutor to have a phone to liaise with the students via Whatsapp.”

Tesco area manager Alastair Williamson said:

After much work I am delighted (and really excited) to say we have now got ourselves in a position where we can Launch our first free English Course in conjunction with USDAW and Croydon Council.”

It’s been an amazing journey and has strengthened our learning agreement. I think we have a nice balance of the individual and the company giving time to learning and I hope this is just the start.”

Lawrence feels that partnerships are the way to make learning work and said:

Company support is vital for this kind of project. Alistair has done a lot of work to make sure that store management make their candidates aware of all of this information and ensure they free them up to attend on the store rota.”

I am already looking forward to the next courses”