Access to online learning and training opportunities for workers are vital if we want to give workers the tools to succeed at work and be able to seek new opportunities should they need to. Lisa Francis, Community’s Learning Organiser for Wales, explores how the pandemic has increased the reliance on online learning, how important it is for workers to have access to digital devices for opportunities to develop and what Community is doing to help.
The Welsh Government recognised the importance of adult learning, and continued to be supportive during the Covid pandemic and have even increased our funding.
Community’s Welsh Union Learning Fund project took the opportunity to purchase new digital equipment to create a brand-new mobile Learning Hub. The digital devices purchased will increase access to training for our members and their colleagues. With the majority of training now taking place online, it is essential that we have equipment at hand to help those that need to get online to increase their skills. Alongside the devices the project has also purchased a wireless dongle which will give internet access which will help to overcome any barriers of Wi-Fi or internal intranet.
As the Learning Organiser for Wales, I want members to take the opportunity to use the equipment we have purchased to continue to build their knowledge and qualifications. The equipment will enable a more equal playing field for sites where workers don’t have access to digital devices like laptops and computers. The mobile hub will mean there is the opportunity for virtual classrooms or e-learning training to take place at the workplace or at our Regional office. This will increase the overall digital skills of the workforce which are crucial in the current climate in which more is being done online than ever before. It also gives individuals opportunities that could help them progress their careers in a new direction.
The advantage of having equipment for online learning is it allows for flexibility, with members having the chance to access online courses as and when needed. Learning Organisers and Union Learning Representatives can work with employers to organise and promote relevant training to develop worker’s skills. It can ensure that training is kept up to date despite coronavirus restrictions with such a wide range of courses available through a screen.
Community have recently run a series of tutor led sessions in; managing stress, understanding neurodiversity, suicide awareness and IOSH. Community Learn currently work with online platforms such as Staff Skills Training Academy which has over 650 courses, all CPD accredited with a downloadable certificate and all completely funded. From digital to health and safety, education, team management and more, there is something for everyone. Take the opportunity to get yourself signed up by registering here.
If anyone in Wales is interested in using the digital equipment, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org