Sarfraz builds his confidence and skills thanks to his union

Sarfraz builds his confidence and skills thanks to his union

Sarfraz Ali works at Pennine Foods in Sheffield and has been building up both his skills and his confidence thanks to support from the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), and Project Worker Lisa Greenfield.

As well as developing his skills Sarfraz is now a Shop Steward and Union Learning Rep (ULR) enabling him to also support his colleagues.

Lisa first met Sarfraz at the unions’ annual conference where the BFAWU Learning Services were promoting courses and learning opportunities to members.

Lisa said: 

He was a delegate nominated to attend on behalf of the membership at Pennine Foods. Sarfraz was extremely shy and quiet and continued to be for many months."

This started to change when Lisa went into the workplace and started promoting learning. Sarfraz really started to shine and was able to communicate with his colleagues and explain to them what we were doing.

Lisa identified Sarfraz not only as a learner, but also as a potential ULR. Lisa explains:

Because of the passion Sarfraz had for learning it was inevitable that we were going to get him trained. The Branch Secretary on site Debbie Loy is a fantastic support for all the ULRs and backs them 100% when it comes to learning activities.

I’m always willing to support all ULRs in the sites I cover and they know they can contact me at any time to ask for help."

With this support Sarfraz has now completed his Entry level 1 in English and maths, numerous union courses and he is now enrolled on a basic IT course as well as Entry level 2 English.

Sarfraz is also working with fellow ULR Rachel Vine and really making a difference to everyone on their site and he has plenty planned for the future.

Lisa said:

Now his confidence has grown there is no stopping him. He is showing others what can be achieved and his passion is contagious.  His communication skills have vastly improved and he is becoming more involved in debates and has the ability to support others more effectively.

I support a lot of learners but Sarfraz stands out as he has seen the benefits to learning and he is now trying to give others the opportunity to grown."

Sarfraz recognises the benefits he has had from being involved with union learning and meeting the Learning Service team at the annual conference, he is also really keen to use his new skills to help others.

Sarfraz said:

The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union Learning Services has changed my whole life. If our union didn’t have the learning services I wouldn’t have the confidence I do today.

I used to rely on others to translate for me, now I am self motivated and more eqipt to help others. I was living in the dark but now I live in the light because of the learning services.

I now encourage others to learn as I know how it has changed my life. Without education I would have the fulfilled life that I do now.

I know I still have a lot to learn and I wont stop. I see the power learning has given me and others."

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