Next in line for maths learning

Encouraging people to take on a maths course can be a difficult, but Usdaw union learning reps (ULRs) at the Next Stores sites in Bradford and Elmsall have had some success in getting learning established at their sites.

Usdaw promoting maths

The ULR’s have been working with the site reps to ensure that Usdaw is extremely visible as part of the learning offer.

There is a Learning Centre and a Joint Learning Committee which organises courses and helps the ULRs get involved in company initiatives.

The site has already run Distance Learning and English courses. Recently they have been helping people with maths.

Usdaw Project Worker Martyn Warwick said:

Getting people involved with Maths courses is always a big ask for ULRs. Lots of people carry the scars of their school experience and honestly believe that they will never be able to learn.”

However, over time Usdaw ULRs have developed strategies and approaches which can break down this reluctance and encourage people to have a go. And once they get started, they very often carry on.”

Martin explained:

When the company introduced some new bonus sheets for the whole of the site, the ULRs saw it as a chance to develop an initiative around maths.”

The ULRs worked with the company payroll team to look at the bonus sheets and agree how they should best be completed. Once they were confident in their own skills, they set up and ran workshops to help staff develop the underpinning maths skills to work out and complete their bonus sheets themselves.”

The initiative has been a great success, and everybody agrees that it has helped to smooth out the usual problems that come with new systems and processes – especially when they involve maths.

Martyn said:

Helping people to see that maths is really a very practical skill is a real boost to learning.”

When people see that they can get it right it helps break the idea that they just can’t do maths.  It’ll be interesting to see where this goes Next.”

If you are interested in giving your maths a boost why not start with the National Numeracy Challenge and see how you get on