Author Topic: FirstGroup Celebrates Learning Success  (Read 1303 times)

Offline Suzy Scott

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FirstGroup Celebrates Learning Success
« on: November 09, 2011, 05:59:38 PM »
FirstGroup Celebrates Learning Success

Friday 4 November 2011

FIRSTGROUP, the UK’s largest transport operator, and Unite the Union recently hosted a learning conference to recognise the value and success of First’s workplace learning centres.

First’s bus division, in partnership with Unite, has established more than 50 workplace learning centres at depots across the UK.  The centres, which are manned by Trade Union Learning Representatives (TULRs), help First staff members develop and learn new skills - how to use a computer, the internet and email - or improve numeracy and literacy skills.  The centres even offer courses in conversational Spanish, scuba diving and a whole host of other areas.

At First’s annual learning conference in Eastbourne, awards were presented to the bus division’s ‘Learning Centre of Excellence’ and ‘Lifelong Learner of the Year’.   The event also recognised the important role that the TULRs play in the success of the learning centres with two award categories: ‘TULR Individual Progression Award’ and ‘Regional TULR Award’. 

Learning centre staff and internal assessment teams have been responsible for some impressive results at the UK’s largest bus operator.  More than 7000 vocational qualifications have been awarded to date. In 2010/2011, 2.500 people achieved Level 2 NVQ status and 600 staff undertook the national test for literacy and numeracy.  Approximately 200 non-vocational courses are also delivered each year.

Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First’s Bus Division, said: “We want our people to recognise and embrace the benefits of learning as an investment in their future.  Our workplace learning centres are an ideal tool to help unlock the potential of our people right across the business.”

He added: “Our awards ceremony is a fantastic means of rewarding and recognising the hard work of everyone involved with bringing our learning centres to life and making them a success.” 

Mick Dowds from Unite the Union said: “FirstGroup is to be commended for its overall approach to lifelong learning.  Working with First we have developed one of the most successful lifelong learning partnerships in the passenger transport sector and opened more than 50 learning centres at First’s bus depots and facilities throughout the UK.  These centres, which are staffed by fully trained ‘Trade Union Learning Representatives’, make an invaluable contribution to the development of our members.”

In FirstGroup’s bus division approximately 85% of employees have access to workplace learning centres. The company has more than 50 learning centres across the UK, mainly located in bus depots but with access available to relatives of staff and, in some cases, the public.   100% of employees within First’s bus division will have access to adult learning of some form or another by 2012.

Award Winners

Learning Centre of Excellence – Gold Award:
Queens Road Depot, Manchester

Learning Centre of Excellence – Silver Award:
Parkhead Depot, Glasgow

Learning Centre of Excellence – Bronze Award:
Norwich Depot

TULR Individual Progression Award
Winner: Debbie Knight, Basildon
Highly Commended: Mary Chapman, Norwich

Regional TULR Award
Winner: Jimmy Lillis, Larkfied Depot, Glasgow
Highly Commended: Bob Holt, Queens Road Depot, Manchester

Lifelong Learner of the Year Award
Winner: Malgorzata Piasecka, Queens Road Depot, Manchester
Highly Commended: John Bridges, Norwich Depot
Suzy Scott
Dundee, Scotland, UK
Forum Administrator (and founder) of A&TVBF and DABF

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