We love learning!

May 15, 2015

By Lee Bradbury – Health, Safety & Environment Manager

Learning at Work Week is an annual awareness campaign organised by the Campaign for Learning and aims to put the spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development.  As regular readers of our blog will know, here at Emanuel Whittaker we are particularly proud of our award winning apprenticeship programme, which of course is all about learning at work.

The Campaign for Learning has asked Private Training Providers to complete a survey about the new Apprenticeship Standards, and although we are not eligible to take part, it is great to see a focus on apprenticeships as part of the Week.

We asked our non apprentice employees to tell us about any learning they were doing which they think would help them do their existing job better or would help their career in the long term. Resident Liaison Officer Natalie Price told us about her  ‘APM Introductory Certificate in Project Management’.  She has all the books and is learning what she needs at her own pace before taking the exam.  She says she prefers to learn like this rather than going through a formal course.

She adds:  “I am also trying to increase my Excel software experience through an online course and then practice what I have learnt at work.  This has already helped because in my job there are a lot of spreadsheets!

Natalie is one of a growing number of adults that are taking advantage of online learning which can be done at work or at home in your own time and at your own pace.  The Open University offers a variety of FREE online learning for anyone looking to return to learning and these are great tools to introduce you to modern learning. http://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses

If you are wondering what the benefits may be to adult learning and further professional development we know from our experience that it’s not just the individual that benefits, but the company and other colleagues.

It has a positive impact on staff retention, motivation and productivity and results in greater staff engagement.   Our commitment to learning has resulted in many of our staff coming through the ranks as we are better able to recognise and nurture internal talent.

The company has recently invested in a huge raft of training opportunities for our resident liaison officers, site supervisors and site managers with 31 developmental courses organised for March – June 2015.  There are five courses on offer and many of them include practice as well as theory. Resident Liaison Officer Gary Tindale reported that he thoroughly enjoyed a recent three day first aiders course – the first he has ever done.  As a result we believe that our staff will be among the most highly skilled in the construction industry.

For aspiring managers or existing managers looking to develop their people skills, the Open University Business School has organised a free webinar this week which will include topics such as the importance of managers leading through change, good communication and team working skills and helping people learn and manage work pressures.  You can book your place at  http://view6.workcast.net/register?pak=5009358898246546

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