First and Unite mark success of learning centres with awards

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First Bus and Unite the Union have hosted a learning conference to mark the success of First’s workplace learning centres.

First Bus, 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 employees develop and learn new skills, including how to use a computer, the internet and email or improve numeracy and literacy skills.

The centres also offer courses in conversational Spanish, scuba diving and a host of other areas.

At First’s annual learning conference in Livingston, 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 centres have seen more than 6,000 vocational qualifications awarded to date and in 2014/15, 850 people achieved Level 2 NVQ status and 1,000 staff undertook the functional skills tests for English and Maths.

Approximately 1,000 non-vocational courses are also delivered each year.

“This partnership between First Bus and Unite is ground-breaking and enables our people to recognise and embrace the benefits of learning as an investment in their future,” said Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus.

“Our workplace learning centres are an ideal tool to help unlock the potential of our people right across the business.

“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.”