From education to employment

Transport staff receive certificates in awards ceremony.

There were goals galore at Wembley on Thursday. All of them on target from a winning team, packed with internationals, and watched by family and friends. That team was Metroline and they played to a full-capacity crowd. Over thirty Metroline staff, including drivers and engineers, were presented with certificates for achieving a range of City and Guilds qualifications by Metroline Chief Operating Officer Sean O”Shea and Sue Neal, Assistant Director of Vocational Skills, College of North East London (CoNEL). There were husbands and wives stepping up to receive certificates together and a brother and sister, reflecting Metroline’s enthusiasm for engaging families and the local community in learning.

It was the Metroline awards night, a night for the company to recognise the achievement of its staff and of its Union Learning Reps, who working with Unite-T&G section and unionlearn, have brought about a learning revolution. Instead of chatting about the problems on the 134 or the 390, staff from bus garages throughout North London swapped tips on IT. Thanks to Metroline’s support, a Routemaster has been refurbished as a learning centre, which takes learning to the company’s garages. Even the most reluctant learners have been gently persuaded by the enthusiastic team of ULRs to climb onboard the learning bus ““with marvellous results.

Neil Coulston, Metroline’s Training Manager was Master of Ceremonies for the evening and George Foulkes, Regional Education Officer for Unite-T&G section gave a very animated speech about the importance of learning within the Trade Union movement. Barry Francis, Regional Manager, unionlearn with Southern and Eastern TUC was proud to point out that Metroline had been included as a case study in the Mayor of London’s report on skills in the capital. Learners themselves were a little shy about talking up their experience, but a bus driver summed up the case when he said: “I have been living here for ten years and Metroline has given me the chance to learn and I am very grateful. I work with people from Eritrea, Poland, Pakistan, Turkey and many other countries and we all learn together.”

Brenda Zagorska

Related Articles