Bombardier welcomed Frances O’Grady, the Deputy General Secretary of the national Trade Union Congress (TUC) to its site in Derby today to officially open Bombardier’s new Learning Centre.
The on-site centre will enable employees to conveniently gain access to a wide range of courses either to complement their workplace roles, or to acquire an entirely new skill.
Courses range from business degrees, foreign language or IT skills and advanced vocational training, to leisure-related activities.
Frances O’Grady said:
“Manufacturing is the key to Britain’s economic recovery and we need more workplace learning centres to boost staff skills. Union learning reps can play a vital role in encouraging those who may have missed out at school to take up courses that will be of benefit to them and business. I am delighted to see that Bombardier is working with unions to invest in the skills and talent of the workforce.”
Bombardier opened its first on-site Learning Centre in partnership with the Confederation of Ship Building and Engineering Unions (CSEU) in December 2005.
The initial focus of the centre was to help improve the core skills of the manufacturing employees based at Derby and these courses are still offered today, run in conjunction with Derby Adult Learning Service and Stephenson College.
Following the success of this initiative, Bombardier has invested in a new Learning Centre, which is based in larger premises and offers a more diverse and extended range of courses.
The new centre will also host the Business Improvements Techniques Foundation Degree Programme provided jointly with West Nottinghamshire College and Derby University.
Additionally, West Nottinghamshire College is working with Bombardier on a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) programme for production staff.
Almost 200 managers and team leaders have had the opportunity to attend coaching and mentoring workshops which can lead to qualifications up to level 5 (equivalent to higher degree). These have been delivered in partnership with Gilfillan Associates and ‘unionlearn.’
The training facilities are also used for technical training support for Bombardier and its customers. The 51 modern apprentices based at Bombardier’s Derby site use the centre’s IT suite as a study centre for their NVQ qualifications. Since the Learning Centre opened its doors, 942 Bombardier employees have attended programmes at this Centre.
Colin S Walton, Chairman Bombardier Transportation UK said:
“During these challenging times, it is especially important for companies to retain a highly motivated and skilled workforce and to ensure that the people and skills are in place for the future. I would like to thank the CSEU for its initial funding to back this excellent initiative and our unions for their continued support.”