- Recent Successes
Staff Stories from the Professional English course @ Camden Transport Services
In September 2008 six members of staff from the Camden Passenger Transport Depot joined a brand new adult literacy class, Professional English, hosted by WMC. Skills for Life courses, such as Professional English are delivered through the government funded scheme, Train to Gain, and offer flexible training opportunities for staff in the workplace. All candidates at the depot completed tests in January 2009 which have given them nationally recognised literacy qualifications. The group has since expanded and is now attending a weekly Professional Maths class held at the Depot.
Kayon Hart-Brown (Passenger Assistant)
I enjoy studying, and certainly needed to improve my skills, and had wanted to do something for a while to improve my skills. Also, I thought it would benefit me in the future. I was very happy to get on the course, and I was very pleased that it took place during work hours. The teacher was very helpful, and overall it was an excellent class. As a result of completing the training, my English has improved. I now have a much clearer idea about using grammar and punctuation. It has also helped me a lot with reading.
Stella Opayemi (Passenger Assistant)
I wanted to join up to improve my spelling, which I found especially difficult, and also my English. I thought it would help me both at work and in my home life.
The course was very good and interesting. It taught me how to speak to people, helped me improve my reading and writing, and use my computer at home. At work, it has taught me how to write letters and basic reports, and how to take a memo. It has also helped me when reading relevant Camden policies and guidelines.
It was a very interesting and worthwhile course, and just being there helped me to communicate with other people. The teacher was very good, very relaxed, and helped a lot.
It has given me more confidence, for instance when standing in-front of people, to talk loud and clear. Also, in the future if I decide to change my job, it will help me in interviews. At work, it was given me more confidence when talking to clients.
Cornell Alexander (Passenger Assistant)
I had some downtime during the day, and I thought it was better to use my time productively, and I thought that attending a course would also enable to help my colleagues. In general I was OK with literacy - spelling is my strongest area, but my grammar needed some work, together with writing techniques and punctuation. Overall, I just wanted to improve my literacy.
The course teacher was very helpful, and I could contact her away from the class if I had any questions. I had a few suggestions about the class, which were taken on board.
The new skills I´d acquired gave me more confidence when speaking to others in a group. It also helped me to get to know my colleagues better, as I didn´t know some of the other attendees that well beforehand.
It will benefit me at work, by improving my skills in reporting work incidents, and helping me approach colleagues more easily. It´s good for teamwork, and I would encourage anyone to take this training. You never know how good you are until you see what you can learn.
Many staff who undertook the literacy training are now also undertaking numeracy training, run by the same organisation.
What Camden Transport Management say…
We have staff that were quite often shy about their lack of literacy and / or numeracy skills. This even manifests itself in people sometimes not turning up for training courses.
There was certainly staff that needed to improve their reading, writing, spelling, speaking and listening skills. We felt that by providing training, this would help the service provide an increased professional approach.
So, we engaged with the Working Men´s College to run a professional literacy course during 2008. The course, run over 12 weeks, would perfectly fit in with our operations schedule, and meant that for the most part we wouldn´t need to provide additional cover for anyone attending.
One of the main elements of our Passenger Services operation is about communicating with clients, plus ensuring that schedules, timesheets etc. and completed and up-to-date. With many of our staff not having access to ICT, we also communicate in hardcopy, via notices or letters. So, it´s very important to us that staff have the basic skills for life to perform their jobs.
Also, it´s about giving staff career opportunities, and the confidence to broaden their horizons in all sorts of ways, both in their work and home lives. I would encourage all managers to focus on the basic skills of their staff and promote this fantastic opportunity.
Skills for Life courses are delivered in the workplace and can be tailored to fit staff requirements. For more information contact Ruth Silverstone in the Train to Gain team at Working Men's College, on 020 7255 4740 or firstname.lastname@example.org