David Parr has been named ASLEF Learner of the Year for 2016 at the unions' Learning Conference in Durham today.
David is a driver with Cross Country in Plymouth and has proved that barriers to learning can be overcome if you have the motivation and desire to achieve your goals.
He recently completed a Level 2 IT Application Specialist Diploma (ITQ Apprenticeship) during a challenging year when he completed a marathon bike ride, had to travel extensively to the course sessions and experienced a traumatic family bereavement, as well as balancing the usual challenges of a full time job and family commitments.
The IT course that David attended was set up via ASLEF Education in partnership with Stephenson College. The IT courses are on offer to rail workers across various venues in Birmingham, Derby, Leeds and London.
David has been an ASLEF member for 30 years and started as a trainee driver back in April 1986. He started his career in Ashford, before moving on to Dover, Eurostar at Waterloo and then Plymouth. David’s father was a railway worker before him and spent 41 years on the railways and 26 of those as a driver.
David was presented with his ASLEF Learner of the Year Award by Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary. When presenting the award Mick praised David for his hard work and commitment to compete his IT qualification and stated how important the role of ULRs have been in setting up courses for ASLEF members. Mick said:
Education leads to choice, and belief comes from education, education leads to liberation."
David’s tutor, Cheryl Duncan-Ratcliffe from Stephenson College, paid tribute to him by saying:
David has worked very conscientiously throughout the course and I have seen his IT skills as well as his confidence in his IT abilities improve with each unit he has completed."
David found the course very beneficial, and commented:
More than ever before members are expected to have a certain knowledge of IT skills in the modern working environment, with new digital technologies being introduced. It is a worthy 12 month course and it has given me a deeper knowledge of everyday computing use.
I really enjoyed the course and would encourage others to take advantage of the courses offered by ASLEF Education."