Usdaw reps in the DHL Long Eaton site have made real strides to embed learning into the site’s activities over the past year. Now they have a fully functioning infrastructure to support learning and have demonstrated just what learning can add to the site.
Usdaw Project Worker Neil Chapman said:
We spoke collectively at joint consultative meetings about the potential for learning on the site.”
We discussed apprenticeships and the need to futureproof the apprenticeship programme by making sure that colleagues had the skills and confidence to apply. A key part of this was to provide learning around functional skills i.e. Maths, English and ICT and to have a team of Usdaw reps to support a work-based programme.”
Those discussions led the site rep team and Neil to draft an agreement for site learning. It set out the need for Union Learning Reps to establish a learning fund and run a learning campaign. By April, the reps had won company support for the idea and a site level learning agreement was signed off. Funding was provided for 10 laptops and two ULRs; Janusz Sitkowski and John Stevenson.
Pretty soon after, they had 30 colleagues sign up for Functional Skills in English and a further 20 signing up for employability skills and an ICT course. The learners were supported by the onsite reps and tutors and regular feedback sessions were arranged to get their feelings on the courses and the impact they were having.
This feedback was very positive and the impact was underlined when an employee satisfaction survey showed a rise of 14% in a question regarding the availability of colleague improvement opportunities. At the most recent Forum Steering Group meeting this was noted and a point of thanks was made highlighting how learning has made a difference to attitudes on site and the support and encouragement Usdaw reps provide.
More Learning Events are planned for 2019, with the company’s approval and more English Maths and ICT courses are also planned along with a celebration event to congratulate the success and achievements of all learners from 2018.
We are on the way to embedding learning in the site.
It isn’t an easy task. It takes time and discussion, good reps, good ULRs support from the company and the buy-in from all parties. But we are getting there!”