Rail jobs, staff issues and training

04.10.07

Central Trains and rail unions open staff learning centre

Staff learning and development has moved up another gear with the opening of a new centre for Central Trains’ staff at New Street Station, Birmingham. Equipped with computers, a library plus information on a wide range of courses, the centre provides excellent educational and development opportunities for train, station and administration staff alike.

The learning centre, which was officially opened by Central Trains Managing Director Stephen Banaghan on 26 September, was developed as a joint venture between the rail unions and the company.

Stephen Banaghan said: “This is an important new learning facility, which I am sure will prove a very popular asset among staff for years to come. The centre is very much in line with current thinking on lifelong learning and we are delighted to give it our full support.”

Driver Aaron Clapp who, together with colleague Angie Butler first conceived the project, said: “We are very pleased to see this collaboration between the company and the workforce come to fruition. The location is ideal and over time we hope to see classes and meetings run here, as well as serving as a learning facility for individuals. From this beginning I believe we can create a very significant resource for staff across the company.”

The learning centre project was funded by the TUC’s Rail Union Learning initiative, which provides educational opportunities for members of all three rail unions, and supported by Central Trains.

Angie Butler said: “The new facility is available to everyone at New Street, whichever union they belong to, and we’d like more people to get involved and become Learning Representatives.”

The Learning Centre, based at the Booking On point, reflects the changing nature of jobs and the workplace in general in the UK, as the introduction of new technology and the shift from manufacturing to service industries requires employees to learn new skills and adapt.

Angie and Aaron have worked with Solihull College to develop a suite of initial programmes, some of which are non-vocational, ranging from IT skills to numeracy, Spanish to Home DIY, all aimed at encouraging staff to learn new skills for the future.

Julie Freeston, Rail Union Learning Development Worker, said: “This is a great example of Unions and employers working together to improve the skills of employees.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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