We currently have 24 Union Learning Reps in Bootle Taxes Branch: 18 in the Triad (13 in processing and 5 in the contact centre) and 6 in Litherland House. We have a Workplace Learning Coordinator for each of the 3 workplaces and a Branch Learning Coordinator who coordinates learning throughout the whole branch.
The ULRs in Bootle work very hard to help staff progress with their learning. We are always on hand to advise any member of staff on any learning queries they may have, whether that may be Accounting, flower arranging or Yoga! We can also offer help and advice on distance and online learning if required.
In May 2012 the Branch Learning Coordinator negotiated with senior management for a large room in the Triad to be converted into a new Learning Suite. With the help of some of the ULR’s this has now been fully furnished with computers, internet access, soft-seating area and library and hosts most of our learning courses. This room was re-named ‘The Steve Tilley Learning Suite’ in honour of our previous Learning Coordinator who was medically retired, due to ill health.
We have ongoing ‘functional skills’ courses in English, Maths and I.T. (Level 2 and Level 3) which are all held in the new Learning Suite. We have also enrolled over 35 staff on Apprenticeships in Customer Service, Business Admin, Team Leading and Management etc. All of these courses have time off work granted (except for Contact Centre staff who are subject to more restrictions) and are fully funded so the staff do not have to use their own time or expense to complete these. On completion, they receive a fully accredited qualification.
Not all the courses we offer are academic though. They don’t have to be work-related either. This year, we have also been able to provide Spanish, French and Sign Language taster courses for our staff, which we will be offering again at a later date. These incurred a very small fee and were undertaken in staff’s own time, but were held on the premises in the Learning Suite, which made them very convenient for staff. These courses were extremely popular and the feedback we received from learners was excellent!
If we have enough people interested in a particular course, we can try and arrange a class for them on-site or, if not, we can try our best to signpost them to somewhere that does. We have been able to signpost over 25 of our staff to AAT (Accounting) courses, with various providers. These courses are held at local colleges during the learner’s own time, but we have been able to secure significant discounts and in some cases the course was free.
This year, we hope to be offering First Aid classes and opening our new Library.