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Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA), the GMB Union and Unite the Union, today signed a partnership agreement committing to a programme of training courses which will be available to all LJLA employees, as part of the UK wide Learning Skills initiative aimed at encouraging employees to develop their English, Maths and IT skills also known as ‘Skills for Life’ (SfL).

To promote the launch of this initiative, the GMB’s mobile learning centre in the form of a double decker bus, was based at the airport for the day to encourage staff from a diverse range of departments to find out more about the training courses they can now participate in. The courses are designed to be flexible, with the Airport Company facilitating staff participation by enabling some course work to be undertaken during staff work time and tailored to their individual needs.

Employees were today given the opportunity to learn about new skills training in a range of subjects such as IT, Maths and English not in a conventional classroom, but in the GMB’s mobile learning centre, which is fitted out with laptops and a state of the art satellite system for internet connection. Alternatively the courses can be run in the airports own training facility.

The first course due to take place at LJLA is a basic training course in IT. Staff will learn the basics in computers and after 12 weeks training they’ll gain a qualification. Union members signing up for the course before the end of March will be offered the course free, anyone signing up after the closing date may have to pay a fee to join the course.
Carol Williams, Human Resources Director, Peel Airports Group, said: “The purpose of today’s event is to highlight the partnership between the Airport Company and the two main Unions who represent most Airport employees and to raise awareness of the basic training courses which are now available. Staff are being encouraged to sign up to any of the courses they feel they would benefit from. It’s daunting for anyone to go back to the classroom, but learning basic skills such as Maths, English and IT can really help boost self esteem and confidence, which the Airport Company is keen to encourage.”

Eddie Parker, GMB Union Organiser, added: “The GMB believes that this educational opportunity for LJLA’s GMB membership is another proactive step highlighting the continued growth in the partnership with the Peel Airport Group. As a trade union we are committed to pushing the union learning agenda forward by removing as many barriers to learning as possible, allowing access to education for all our members wherever they are working.”

Carol Devereux, Unite the Union’s Regional Organiser, commented: “This is just the first step on the journey of learning for our members at LJLA. It reinforces the commitment of both Unite and GMB unions and the Airport Company to the learning agenda. We will actively encourage our members, with the assistance of the Union Learning Representatives, to take full advantage of this excellent opportunity.”

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