From education to employment

Crest Workers in Aspatria given paid time to improve Literacy & Numeracy skills

Crest workers in Aspatria are taking delivery of a new learning agreement designed to give them more access to IT courses plus paid time off to boost their literacy and numeracy skills.

Usdaw, Crest, Amicus and the TUC have pioneered a work based Lifelong Leaning scheme for the 130 staff at the creamery offering a range of courses designed to build on basic skills in maths and english.

So far 25 students have passed courses and another 20 are using the specially created learning suite linked to Lakes College as part of their digital divide project reaching out to new students.

David Farish and David Lunney are Lifelong Learning Reps at the site and they have seen the positive impact the courses have had on self-confidence at the creamery.

“Many of the people here haven”t stepped back in a classroom since leaving school so we want to make learning fun and also develop self confidence. ” David Farish said. “We”ve had a very enthusiastic response so far and all the evidence shows that an educated workforce has higher levels of motivation.” Usdaw have worked closely with Crest management who are enthusiastic supporters of the scheme. “Crest has been totally behind the scheme and we”re delighted at their positive response,” says David Lunney. “Students will get an hour off to do a Skills For Life assessment plus an hour to come into the centre to see what we do. There’s also time off for the courses so we couldn”t have asked for anymore from the company who see the sound business case for supporting educational programmes.”

Usdaw has been at the forefront of providing work placed learning programmes with over 10,000 of its members passing courses across the UK and Area organiser Linda McGarvie, along with Dairy Crest’s General manager Sean Bell, will sign the new agreement. “Signing off this agreement with Dairy Crest allows us to take the learning programme to the next level allowing students access to more courses,” Linda McGarvie said. “This is the classic example of how a partnership between a company, their employees and a trade union can benefit everyone.

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