From education to employment

Polyseam collaborate with Kirklees College to offer Functional Skills classes during work hours

Polyseam employees pose with their programme certificates in front of forest wall

Over the past year, Huddersfield-based Chemical Manufacturing firm Polyseam have been sending some of their employees to Functional Skills lessons during their working hours. The sessions have been run by Kirklees College tutors Lynn and Jonathan, and have taken place on-site. This has allowed the employees to gain a vital qualification, upskill and gain confidence without having to take time from their personal lives or travel a far distance to learn.

The employees involved participated in maths lessons and recently sat their exams, ranging from Entry Level through to Level 2 at the end of the programme. Last week, their tutors visited them at Polyseam to hand them their certificates and congratulate them on their efforts.

Speaking about the course, employee Amy Koldij said:

“I absolutely loved the course. When I started, I didn’t think I would be able to do it but with the help of the team I was able to complete it. Being able to do classes during my working hours worked really well and I would highly recommend doing it.”

Another employee, Adam Sexton also gave positive feedback:

“The course was refreshing and it is great that we can continue learning even later in life. It was a great chance to brush up on my skills and the staff were very supportive and easy to get along with.”

Wayne Forrester, Head of Manufacturing at Polyseam and manager to many of the employees on the course, commented on the benefits of offering training to staff during work hours:

“I believe that companies should put as much training into their staff as reasonably possible. This can be a tough decision to make and even tougher to balance with a hectic schedule.

We are certainly trying to make a positive impact on this type of thing here at Polyseam.

Our team wants to learn things they haven’t had a chance to in the past. We believe in helping our employees achieve their goals whether it be personal or professional.

We release our employees for a short time to learn because what they learn will help them grow. Not only in their knowledge grow but more importantly, so does their confidence. If our staff are happy and confident, Polyseam will benefit.”

Functional Skills lessons will continue at Polyseam this year, with the focus on English, and all staff will be offered the opportunity to attend English classes. Word has spread amongst the workforce and this year’s intake is even bigger, with maths returners being joined by new recruits. Classes are set to begin in November, working again with the full spectrum of functional skill levels up to Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE).

If you are an employer looking to offer your staff Functional Skills training, please get in contact with Lynn Smith via our Employers inbox, [email protected]. You can also find out more about English and maths for adults at Kirklees College, and read our full offering of Employers’ courses.

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