PCS member Mary Billington only became a Union Learning Rep last year, but already she has been busy supporting learners at her workplace at the MOD in Merseyside develop the digital skills they need to cope with the changing world of work.
Mary met with Ann Ainsworth, PCS North West Regional Learning Officer, at a Learning at Work Day event and was impressed with the range of courses that the union offered members, this inspired Mary to become a Union Learning Rep (ULR)
Mary’s job as an admin officer at the MOD as training point of contact meant she could see gaps in training that weren’t being addressed by management, and she saw being a ULR as a way to support fellow workers and help them access training and skills development, with IT and digital skills being a big area of concern.
There have been a lot of changes going on in my place of work, we have people that have been doing the same type of work for many years and people needed to upgrade their skills. Also moral and confidence was very low.”
As a ULR Mary set about organising a number of courses and activities to support colleagues build skills and confidence. These have ranged from mid-life events to improving writing skills. One area that has been particularly popular has been around digital skills.
Mary has organised Microsoft office training in basic excel, word and powerpoint.
Ann explained that:
The ICT courses were so popular with her members that we even had to arrange for Wirrel Met to put on an additional excel course just for her members.”
Mary added that:
People who went on the ICT courses at the Cotton Exchange really enjoyed the experience and many said doing these courses boosted their confidence.”
This is just the beginning for Mary, and as a new ULR she is already having a massive impact in her workplace. Mary is looking forward to continue supporting learners at her workplace and said:
I’m a great believer in lifelong learning, you’re never too old to learn new skills, so to be involved in helping people access these opportunities make me feel proud.”