Community has joined forces with Aspire to form a Learning Partnership which opens up thousands of courses for Aspire employees and local people too. The Learning Partnership sees the formation of an online training hub helping people to bridge the digital divide and to respond to the challenges of Covid-19.
The signing of the agreement was attended by Community Trustee Dougie Fairbairn, Head of Community Learn Sidra Nisa, Community Learning Organiser, Arifa Sarguroh and Aspire Directors Kevin Wynne, Katharine Sutton and Aspire Learning Reps Emanuel Garcia and Kintala Kang.
Aspire is a community business that trains the local people to provide essential services such as horticulture, cleaning, grounds maintenance and window cleaning. Their exemplary work has earned them the badge for the top 100 social enterprises for 2020.
Dougie Fairbairn, Community Trustee signed the agreement and is pleased with the way Community are contributing to help set up the new learning hub, “in circumstances that are more uncertain than ever, this new partnership just goes to show that help and support is always available, and Community union takes pride in striving to provide digital solutions to help our members start their learning journey” he mentions.
Director for Aspire, Kevin Wynne signed the agreement on behalf of Aspire said: “We are a community business that has built itself up from scratch, so learning is essential to everything that we do. This is a ground-breaking agreement for us as it gives us the chance to provide formal education not only to our employees, but to the thousands of people we support every day in our communities.”
Katharine Sutton, fellow Director added: “All of our employees are grateful for the strength and support that being members of Community gives us not only in our workplace but in the wider community. Our Learning Partnership marks the stage of a new point in our journey and is an essential part of our BetterForUs Campaign designed to persuade employers that Respect, Real Living Wages, Good Working Conditions, Fair Procurement and Employees voice should be at the heart of good public service delivery.”
While Katharine and her team have long been a pro-learning organisation using a mixture of peer group and on the job learning, they were looking to put more formalised learning at the heart of what they do by adding it into the mix of services at Aspire. However, they hadn’t been able to find a suitable partner to work with – until Community made it possible. Initial talks began earlier in summer with Arifa, to provide horticulture training for employees. The online courses on offer were very well received by the Directors at Aspire and they were keen on training their employees. Since most of the staff operate purely using smart phones, in depth training courses were a bit difficult to access. This raised the need for a learning centre which would close the digital gap and enable staff to do necessary on the job training. Arifa has now recruited three union learning reps and is excited about working closely with Aspire to open the learning hub to the wider community and our members.
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