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One of the most successful and dynamic initiatives introduced through the CLP has been the Back to Work workshops. They have been reintroduced again this year and have been running at the UNITE offices at John Smith House in Glasgow. The sessions are available to all CLP members and cover form filling, CV writing, letter writing, job searches etc.
The session will be resuming in the New Year, and will be advertised through the normal CLP channels and the new Website. This on-going support has been fundamental in helping unemployed union members gain employment.
Throughout the last 12 months a number of courses have been delivered to support workers facing redundancy or change at work. The course content has been adjusted to suit the varying situations being experienced in a difficult economic climate. The Union Learning representatives have been pivotal in identifying the learning needs of the workforce and organising courses through Mark Pollitt at the Trade Union Education Centre in City of Glasgow College. Courses have been delivered at MAHLE Engine Systems, Devol (Gourock), Peel Ports (Hunterston), Albion Motors (Glasgow), and Edinburgh Waverley Station. Course content has included CV writing, Interview Skills, Job Search Skills and applying for State Benefits.
Andrew Clannachan, the Shop Stewards Convenor at MAHLE Engine Systems in Kilmarnock recognised the contribution the courses have made to his members.
“On behalf of my fellow colleagues who attend the recent CV and Interview Skills workshop may I take this opportunity to say a big thank you, to Suzanne Cullinane (Unite Lifelong Learning), June McLean (Tutor) and the Trade Union Education Centre for the speed in which City of Glasgow College responded to our request for support. My colleagues were apprehensive at the thought of leaving the business without any prior knowledge of how to construct their CV’s, however under June’s expertise and guidance my colleagues have successfully formulated their CV’s and are ready to despatch them to any potential employers. My colleagues and I really appreciate City of Glasgow College taking time out of their busy schedule to assist them. Once again on behalf of my colleagues and everyone at Mahle Kilmarnock”
The Collective Learning Partnership is delighted to welcome National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) to the partnership. The RMT is a fast growing union with more than 80,000 members from almost every sector of the transport industry – from the mainline and underground railways, shipping and offshore, buses and road freight. RMT Union Learning Reps are a key part of the RMT Trade Union and have a clear role, which is to encourage and support lifelong learning for learners at work and in the workplace.
Many RMT members have already accessed CLP courses through the close relationship in the Rail Industry with ASLEF. The Union Learning Representatives have highlighted a wide and diverse programme of courses for the coming year, and will be a welcome addition to the CLP.
An ECDL Essentials course is being delivered at Aberdeen Railway Station with a group of learners who attend in their own time. The course is delivered on a shift friendly basis with sessions run each week at 10.30-12.30 and 17.30-19.30. This makes the course accessible to workers who would normally be unable to attend on a consistent basis due to their shift patterns. The course consists of three modules, Security for IT Users, Computing Essentials and Email & the Internet. This introductory course will enable learners to progress on to the ECDL Extra course at a later date. The course is accredited through the British Computing Society (BCS) and will result in internationally recognised qualification. June McLean who is delivering the course said
“This is the third course I have delivered through the CLP at Aberdeen Train Station, and it is good to see people returning to complete new courses. They have clearly caught the ‘learning bug’. It has been really interesting working with a diverse group of varying nationalities, and the feedback has been fantastic”
As part of the ongoing programme of courses being delivered with Knorr Bremse in Springburn, Glasgow a new Introduction to Computing course is currently running. The course focusses on the basics of word processing, an introduction to the Internet, and some file management. The aim of the course is firstly to remove any trepidation that many new users feel, and to build on and enhance existing skills. Several of the participants have a range of IT Skills already, and they have been a great help in supporting their colleagues on the course. The skills being developed have been beneficial at a work and social level, and everyone is enjoying the experience.
The CLP has provided a broad spectrum of learning for our workers within Glasgow Life.
The following accredited ECDL, Spanish, French and Digital Photography courses have been delivered over the last 18 months, at different locations including the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and 220 High Street, Glasgow.
Although these courses are run after work and workers attend in their own time. The courses have been popular and there has been expressed interest for other courses in Languages and Digital Photography.
Following a recent survey the CLP is looking to deliver the following courses in the New Year which will be open to other CLP partners (where space is available): Spanish – Stages 1 and 2, Italian – Stage 1, French- Stage 1, Sign Language, Digital Photography, and possibly an Understanding Pensions course.
All courses will be promoted internally within Glasgow Life and through the CLP website.
One of the Collective Learning Partnership’s key aims is to encourage Unions and their Reps to work together in order to deliver and offer as many learning opportunities as they can to members within their workplaces and communities.
An example of this collective organising was successfully demonstrated by FBU, CWU, Unite and ASLEF in Inverclyde. Individually they were unable to support the numbers at their worksites to deliver a Spanish course but instead worked alongside each other by grouping their members into one class that was driven by Ian Bryden (FBU) and delivered centrally in the local Fire Station at Greenock.
There were so many positive aspects to this arrangement such as bringing Union members and other workers together, showcasing the education that is available, encouraging new learners and Union members and embedding learning into communities. By delivering courses in such a way it enabled Learning Organisers from various sizes of workplaces to offer their members a pathway to Education that they may not have been able to do. The group included members from several Unions and workplaces in Inverclyde that covered; EE call centre, RBS Mortgage centre, James Walker Devol Engineering plant, and local Train stations.
Learners gave great feedback on the training.
“I really enjoyed the course, I especially liked the relaxed atmosphere that the tutor encouraged. I learned a lot from the short course and look forward to progressing onto the next course.”
“I had a great time at the course. I took my son along which really helped me when it came to practicing my Spanish between classes. He loved it too. Thank you.”
One of the participants Jamie McCallum, a Firefighter at Ayr Community Fire Station commented
“In March I started a Conversational Spanish Course at Ayr Fire Station. I was encouraged onto the course by a workmate who holidays a lot in Spain and I thought it would be interesting for me to do and would show some support for my friend.
The course started away reasonably slowly with enrolment being conducted in Spanish and English and then ‘WOW’ the pace of learning was increased with the tutors’ style really suiting me. I was treated as an individual within a learning group and I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences of face to face learning with support on a computer. I even enjoyed completing my homework and I look forward to my next learning opportunity”
Similar courses are planned through the CLP over the coming months and will be promoted via the new CLP Website and local organisers and union learning representatives.
A number of courses have been run at the Improvement Academy in Ninewells Hospital in Dundee focussing on Minute Taking. The course has proven to be extremely successful with more dates being added all of the time. The content of the course has been developed to incorporate the skills and processes of minute taking utilising the internal mechanisms and templates of the organisation. Course Tutor Paula Bauge who wrote and developed the course commented that
“I have changed the content and delivery schedule of the course based upon the feedback received from previous participants. Every course so far has been enjoyable and interesting. As well as the learning that is taking place, the participants have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feedback has been very positive”
General feedback is that participants feel more confident in taking minutes, and have gained a better understanding of NHS Tayside documents and procedures.
One of the major growth areas of demand with the Collective Learning partnership has been around the use of new technology including ‘Tablet Devices and Smartphones’. With thousands of workers owning devices for business, social and academic use, and many employers now introducing the technology for use in the workplace, a clear gap has been identified in the knowledge and skills of users. Courses have focussed on the knowledge on how to source information from different websites and the ability to use handheld devices. In addition it has become clear that an understanding of the legalities surrounding the use of social media both in and out of the workplace is a key component of any training. An appreciation of safe internet use and security, and an understanding of ‘applications’ (Apps) is vital. Every course has been different with content being adjusted to suit each group of learners, whether they are within the rail industry, the finance sector or from manufacturing.
With the Festive period just around the corner, Union Learning Representatives have already indicated that there is likely to be a surge in demand for new courses in 2017. City of Glasgow College as part of its commitment to the Collective Learning Partnership have invested in 15 Apple I-Pads and 10 Samsung Galaxy Tablet devices. In addition 10 mobile internet routers have been purchased to enhance and expand the delivery of courses across Scotland.
“I attended a “Tackling the Digital Divide” Digital skills training course ran by City of Glasgow College, Trade Union Education Centre.
The course was attended by a mixture of grades of staff from ScotRail such as Travel Shop staff to Conductors and Train Drivers all looking to enhance our varied knowledge and skills using new technology. Our Tutor Scott McCabe took us all through the process of basics of how to turn on the equipment, learning how to use applications, and personalising the equipment to work better for us and our needs in our posts.
Technology has come on leaps and bounds since I left school, leaving many technology users including myself behind. Scott took me through using the accessibility options to make the equipment work better for me and my needs as a Dyslexic which was invaluable as technology can make life easier for Dyslexics and improves confidence and productivity. The two day course gave me the transferable skills and knowledge to work with technology on android platforms and to make it better serve my needs and lighten my work load. Other participants benefited from learning to be comfortable and confident using technology and are looking to attend European Computing Driving Licence courses in the future.I have recommended this course to my work colleagues and friends as it benefits their transferable skills as well as enhancing their work lives.”
Barry Weldon (RMT/First ScotRail)
On the New Queensferry Crossing Project UCATT were able to support 6 deck hands working within dangerous shore waters in the Firth of Forth. These deck hands require the STCW95 qualification as there will be a change in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency law as from next year. With the project coming to an end, and with the likelihood of these workers being paid off, this qualification was imperative for workers to obtain future employment in similar work.
STCW95 is a safety qualification which in this instance included 5 Units spread over a 5 day period delivered by City of Glasgow College. Units included Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Personal Survival Technique, Elementary First Aid and Proficiency in Security Awareness. The units were very practical simulating real life experiences with learners participating in firefighting in over 200 degree heat and up righting a capsized life raft.
One of the learners Brian Conjoice said
“this course was by far the best course I have been on, the practical elements in particular the 2.5 day firefighting unit was excellent. We were on a rescue mission in a smoke filled room which we thought was a huge room when in reality it was only 4ft by 4ft”.