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Southern and Eastern Region



Going for gold London 2012

Open to everyone Everyone actively promoting workplace learning knows there’s a huge gap between the educational haves and have-nots. In fact, it’s because of this very gap that workplace learning has assumed the importance it has in recent years. We’ve made considerable headway over the past decade and more. When once workers with Skills for Life issues were left to struggle by themselves, now we’re finding more and more enlightened employers who are happy to work with us to give their staff the chance to change all that. That’s one move that closes the educational gap. Another is the way union learning reps and project workers act on the basis that a workplace learning project isn’t necessarily going to take off simply because the courses are available onsite. Good ULRs know that they also need to ensure they find times that will suit part-time workers and give shiftworkers the chance to participate. And they come up with solutions to help workers without an obvious focus for learning, such as freelancers, drivers, many construction workers. Of crucial importance is the way union learning projects open their doors to the educational have-nots who’ve had a raw deal beyond their lack of access to training opportunities – the women who are still poorly paid compared to men; the minority ethnic and disabled workers who are routinely denied the chance to improve their skills; as well as migrant workers (and others) for whom help to improve their English language skills means inclusion both at work and in their local communities. Unions and unionlearn have a proud record of promoting equality and diversity in workplace learning. That’s why we feel it’s especially important, in the forthcoming local and general elections, that everyone uses their vote to keep out the kind of far-right political parties who crave the electoral opportunity to try to undo everything we’ve achieved. Barry Francis, Regional Manager


Bakery staff develop a taste for healthy eating BFAWU ULR Julie Knight displays the fruit on offer at the Warburtons healthy living event

Three ULRs at the Enfield site of bakery firm Warburtons organised a two-day Festival of Healthy Living in the run-up to Christmas which attracted 140 co-workers to try out healthy food and exotic fruits in the company canteen. The ULR trio of Julie Knight, Roshni Naran and Jarek Belka persuaded Hygiene & Stores Manager James Ingold to cook two different healthy meals to be given away over the two days (along with the recipes and a packet of pasta for everyone who attended). In addition, a range of unusual fruits were offered in bite-sized pieces to give people a chance to try something new. The learning reps also persuaded Enfield health centre Aspire to donate a year’s membership and £100 of vouchers for the first and second prizes in a raffle people entered by participating in the event. The ULRs worked very hard to make the event a success, says BFAWU Region One Project Worker Carol Hillaby. Roshni worked with Nicola Hammond from the human resources department to get the festival up and running; Julie talked to people about the learning centre and the union, encouraging many non-members to take away information packs; and Jarek spent the two days helping James to dish up the food. “The Warburtons ULRs rose to the challenge by taking part in these two open days, promoting the BFAWU and Warburtons through Healthy Living days – which they did outstandingly,” says BFAWU Regional Officer Steve Finn, who attended and supported the event, which was organised with the help of Festival of Learning money secured by unionlearn SERTUC.

Counting down to WorldSkills in London WorldSkills London 2011 has launched two important groups to help promote the event itself and the longer term objectives around raising awareness and respect for vocational skills. The Legacy Group and the London Group aim to help engage London and the UK and make WorldSkills London the success it deserves to be. The World Skills 2010 competitions represent the last chance for those who take part to be considered for a place on the team representing the UK and competing against the best in the world when WorldSkills comes to the capital in 2011. The competition schedule is available online, and includes confirmed dates and venues for all WorldSkills UK heats and UK finals. Visit:

Photos © Rod Leon

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell (second right) launches the Community and Trade Union Learning Centre with (from left) unionlearn Field Worker Jane Warwick, learner Pam Mason and local Tesco Community Champion Lee Blake

Olympics centre wins Inspire award The Community and Trade Union Learning Centre, at Pudding Mill Lane, east London, has secured the Inspire Mark, which recognises innovative and exceptional projects inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Open to workers on the site and members of the local community, the centre runs free courses in literacy, numeracy and computer skills, offers lessons to help people write better reports and job applications/CVs and plans to offer paid-for courses depending on demand. “The Community and Trade Union Learning Centre is enabling people in the east of London and workers on the Olympic site to make positive changes: it’s well deserving of an Inspire Mark award for the work it is doing now and its role as part of the Olympic legacy,” said Lord Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Centre manager Phil Spry said that being awarded the Inspire Mark was a wonderful boost. “It recognises the role we are playing in providing learning for union members and employees on and surrounding the Olympic Park and its local communities,” he commented. The centre has already opened its doors to construction workers on the site. “We are very enthusiastic about persuading our members to make full use of the courses on offer here,” says Unite National Secretary for Construction Bob Blackman.

It’s also reaching out to local union members as well. Stratford Fire Brigades Union ULR Steve Fay has signed up colleagues for computer courses after visiting the centre in a fire engine. “The facilities are very good and we are looking forward to training here,” he says. The centre will also be working with the National Union of Teachers to bring laptops to local schools so that parents can improve their literacy, numeracy and computer skills after they have dropped off their children. Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell dubbed the centre an extremely valuable community resource when she formally launched it in January. “The centre adds to the range of training and development services made available to workers on the Olympic site and local communities surrounding it since construction started: together they are helping to create a legacy of skilled employees who are able to take on a variety of roles and support the economy,” she said. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said the Olympics site was a showcase for UK industry and workers. “The Community and Trade Union Learning Centre will play a part in this project by offering great learning opportunities for employees and providing a valuable community resource for Londoners,” he commented. 3

Feature interview

Š London 2012

Leaving a jobs and skills legacy 4

Creating employment and skills opportunities in London’s East End will ensure the London Olympics in 2012 genuinely transforms an area of enormous deprivation, explains Loraine Martins, Head of Equality, Inclusion, Employment and Skills at the Olympic Delivery Authority. How important is training to the 2012 legacy?

What is the ODA doing to promote apprenticeships?

Training is one of the key elements of the priority themes I’m responsible for at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). Part of our legacy has to include giving people new experiences and new skills, creating sustainable jobs, ensuring we’re raising the standards for the construction industry and making sure that local people in particular benefit from the significant investment in an area that has been historically on the wrong side of social deprivation and educational and economic disadvantage. When it comes to training, we want to skill up people so that they have better opportunities for sustainable employment, particularly in construction.

We formally launched our apprenticeship programme last May and we take it very seriously. Our original target was to ensure 2,250 people experienced training on the Olympic Park – including work placements, pre-employment training, on-site training and apprenticeships. We set ourselves a target of training 350 apprentices by 2012 and we’re currently at 150. Because of the success of the programme which is ahead of schedule and on budget, we’re bringing forward apprenticeship opportunities with the commitment of the contractors to get as many of the 350 training by the end of this calendar year. We also introduced a requirement through the procurement process in May last year that any new contractors that come onto the park will ensure 3 per cent of their workforce are apprentices.

How are you working with the National Skills Academy for Construction? One of the good things about this project is that we have to work in partnership with a whole range of agencies, and we’re working with Construction Skills, the Sector Skills Council, to make sure that all the training we provide is accredited, that it’s demand-led (so we’re not just providing training for the sake of it), and that it anticipates the needs of future employees. We’ve been awarded National Skills Academy for Construction (NSAfC) status for the training we’re providing, which shows that we’re delivering the right training at the right time to the right people at the facilities we have in Thames House and the Royal Docks in Beckton.

How successful is the jobs brokerage service? The jobs brokerage service has got over 750 people who were previously unemployed into jobs on the Olympic Park. We set ourselves a target of ensuring 7 per cent of the workforce was previously unemployed and we’re currently at 10 per cent, so that’s an incredible success – we’ve set a standard for others to surpass, so that’s really very good.

Have you been able to make progress on breaking down apprenticeship gender stereotyping? We are making headway. About 6 per cent of the workforce are women and given that women tend to be about 2 per cent of the manual workforce we think we’ve done a pretty good job, although we think there’s more to do so we’re not complacent. Overall, we set ourselves a target of 11 per cent women working on the Park, so while we’ve exceeded the national average we’ve still got a way to go to meet the objectives we set ourselves. We also have a Women Into Construction project that has been incredibly successfully in getting women into the Park – we’ve got something like 350 women working on the Park, about 3.1 per cent of them are in manual labour trades, and they range from architecture undergraduates on work placements to traffic marshals, bricklayers, plumbers – the whole gamut of trades within the industry.

What will happen to apprentices who don’t complete their training before the end of construction? We will be collaborating with other initiatives such as Crossrail (the east-west London rail infrastructure project) and the Thames Gateway Development to ensure our apprentices are given every opportunity to complete their training on other initiatives. We’ve got the support of the National Apprenticeship Service to develop some protocols between ourselves and other agencies to ensure all the apprentices have the chance to make a transition onto other initiatives and complete their training on them.

How can unionlearn contribute to the jobs and skills legacy of 2012? The ODA has made a significant investment in the onsite Community & Trade Union Learning Centre so we’re keen to make sure that it does benefit local communities and people working on the park. By promoting continual learning, helping people to raise their aspirations for personal and career development, unionlearn can make a significant impact in terms of its encouragement of union members and the local community to take up those opportunities as and when they can.

Loraine Martins CV Loraine Martins is Head of Equality, Inclusion, Employment and Skills at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). Equality and Inclusion is a priority theme for the Olympic & Paralympic Games in London 2012. Prior to joining ODA, Loraine was the first Head of Diversity at the Audit Commission where she worked for six years. Loraine has been a management consultant and worked at a local, regional and national level and is a Trustee of the City Parochial Foundation (CPF). 5

A unionlearn SERTUC seminar during Apprenticeships Week in February showcased a wide range of initiatives underway to promote quality workplace-based training for young people, from the Civil Service to the 2012 Olympic Park.

Anton scoops national engineering award After winning the South East final year apprentice award at the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) Future Manufacturing Awards last autumn, Unite member Anton Barrick went on to scoop the national prize in February.


“We were won over by Anton’s enthusiasm, ingenuity, problem-solving ability and thirst for improving efficiency – and, quite simply, by the pleasure he takes in his work!” the judges commented. The 21-year-old maintenance technician at Perkins Engines has wanted to be an engineer since he was a boy, and has been fixing things and finding out how they work for as long as he can remember. “I plan to progress through the parttime academic route through college to university and to achieve a degree that’s recognised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; then I’ll work to

become a fully chartered engineer,” he says. EEF South East Region Director David Seall called Anton “a credit to his company and a great role model for young people embarking on a career in industry.” Unionlearn Regional Manager Barry Francis said the award underlined the effectiveness of apprenticeship model. “Employers throughout the region should follow the example of Perkins Engines in Peterborough and invest in young people who can add value to their company in much the same way as this young Unite member has at his workplace,” he said.

© The Learning and Skills Council

Making the case for apprentices

Apprentices A framework agreement for the rollout of apprenticeships across the Civil Service was set to be signed during Apprenticeships Week, Prospect Deputy General Secretary Dai Hudd told a unionlearn SERTUC seminar at Congress House during Apprenticeships Week. The Council of Civil Service Unions (CCSU) and Government Skills, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Civil Service departments and agencies, had drawn up the agreement together with the Cabinet Office, he explained (it was indeed signed later in the week). The new agreement built on the successful pathfinder programme which had led to nearly 1,400 people starting apprenticeships in the Civil Service, which had been the biggest employer of apprentices in the UK 25 years ago. Dai said the agreement ensured apprentices were employed on standard Civil Service terms and conditions and received high quality training and support; it also provided safeguards for surplus staff and ensured that equality and diversity underpinned apprentice recruitment. UK Skills Chief Executive Simon Bartley said that World Skills London 2011 represented another opportunity to raise the profile of apprenticeships. Of the 846 UK competitors who had taken part in 40 competitions to date, over 820 had trained as apprentices, he pointed out. “The best people at skills in this country are taking apprenticeships,” he said. Team UK at WorldSkills 2011 would be drawn from the approximately 8,000 individuals who would enter skills competitions over the two-year cycle, most of them apprentices. The event offered an opportunity to showcase how developing high skills could lead young people into fulfilling careers, would promote excellence not competence and provide a new generation of role models. Cogent’s apprenticeship expansion programme had proved a big success, with 46 new places across the industries covered by the SSC, explained Cogent’s Apprenticeships Manager Ian

Apprenticeships Week successfully raised the profile on workplace training in February

Lockhart, who started his working life as an apprentice himself. Apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships would provide the solution to the sector’s problem of having too few technicians, just as Cogent Career Pathways would encourage more young people to choose the sector for their careers, he said. The London Olympics site was set to have started 350 apprentices by the end of the current calendar year, explained the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Head of Equality, Inclusion, Employment and Skills Loraine Martins. In addition, new ODA contractors were committed to ensuring at least 3 per cent of their Olympic Park workers were apprentices, she pointed out.

Conference set to show apprenticeships are union business

Anton Barrick receives his award from sponsor Allison Riley of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Declan Curry, presenter of BBC Two’s Working Lunch

Congress House is hosting a conference showcasing the union role in promoting successful and rewarding apprenticeships that give young people a fair deal at work as well as a fine start to their working life. Advocating for Apprentices, on Friday 16 April, is aimed at union officers and reps who are already working with apprentices, or likely to be doing so in the future, as well as employers, education providers and policy partners. Speakers include TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber and Deputy General Secretary Frances O’Grady,

National Apprenticeship Service Deputy Chief Executive David Way, unionlearn Board Chair Mary Bousted, Unite Assistant General Secretary Tony Burke, plus an employers’ representative. The TUC’s Apprenticeship Project will be launching its apprenticeships toolkit for reps at the conference, and there will be a chance to hear from some newly-created Union Apprenticeship Advocates, whose role is to promote schemes to unions and employers. Places are free so please register online at:



It’s the coming of the LAWD

Unionlearn Southern and Eastern Region Congress House Great Russell Street London WC1B 3LS

020 7467 1251

Regional education office

020 7467 1284

Outreach offices Haywards Heath Harlow London Community and Trade Union Learning Centre

014444 59733 01279 408188 020 7467 1342 020 3288 5520

Regional manager Barry Francis

Regional union development coordinator Jon Tennison

The skilled road to recovery

Regional development workers Mick Hadgraft Adrian Ryan Trish Raftery

Recession and Recovery Development Workers Katie Curtis Fred Grindrod Colin Lloyd

Field workers Stuart Barber Rickey Denton Jaspal Ghtoray Kelly Hillock Sean Ruddy Gabi Upton Jane Warwick

This year, LAWD falls on Thursday 20 May 2010, and once again unionlearn SERTUC is offering funding to union projects to help them run LAWD events in London and in the South-East. ULRs and project workers can get a whole range of free materials and advice from organisations to help them run their LAWD events, including the Campaign for Learning, which has overall responsibility for LAWD: ❚ Campaign for Learning: ❚ The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE): ❚ BBC Read & Write (RaW) campaign: ❚ Six Book Challenge: ❚ Chatabout:

Community and Trade Union Learning Centre Manager Phil Spry

Union learning reps throughout the region will be using this year’s Learning At Work Day (LAWD) to promoting workplace learning in all sorts of imaginative ways, including launching and advertising workplace learning centres, laying on taster sessions, and organising awards.

Equipping union members with the skills to avoid redundancy or find new work as the recovery advances is the aim of the new unionlearn Skills: Recession and Recovery (SSR) Project, launched at the beginning of the year. The project is working in partnership with unions, ULF projects and a wide range of stakeholders to share best practice and practical advice and highlight effective initiatives, funding opportunities and joint working. “Unionlearn is working with a range of partners to help unions with their negotiations and to provide their members with the professional and personal skills to weather the economic downturn and be prepared for economic recovery,” explains SRR Project National Coordinator Kirsi Kekki. The SRR project has already staged various events in the region to explain how it can help union officers broker learning opportunities, improve members’ job-seeking skills and access regional funding sources to combat closures. To find out more about the SRR project n the South and Eastern Region, contact your Regional Development Worker: ❚ London: Fred Grindrod ❚ South East: Colin Lloyd ❚ Eastern: Katie Curtis

U-Net support worker Sarah-Louise Lacey

Get yourself an award

Regional education officers Rob Hancock Angela Perry

Administration Michelle Baker Sonia Dawson Johanna Garcia Lucy Haire Tanya Nelson Mark Sadler 8

You’ve still got time to enter the National Training Awards, which celebrate organisations and individuals that have achieved really outstanding business and personal success through investment in training. “Entering the Awards provides a real opportunity to benchmark your training against the rest of the UK, so step up now and be recognised for your hard work,” says Simon Bartley, Chief Executive of UK Skills, which runs the annual awards on behalf of the Government. The closing date for this year's Awards is Friday 23 April 2010. Find out more at:

Cover photo of London 2012 worker Curdy Nelson at the Plant Training Centre by Philip Wolmuth

update - Southern and Eastern Region (Spring 2010)  
update - Southern and Eastern Region (Spring 2010)  

In this Spring 2010 issue: Bakery staff develop a taste for healthy eating; WorldSkills London 2011; Olympics centre wins Inspire award; Int...