The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London has been recognised for its groundbreaking efforts to bring learning to the heart of the workplace at a glitzy awards ceremony held recently.

Susan Neal, head of the College’s Employment Training Solutions team, accepted the Partnership Award from bus company Metroline at the Wembley event. Speaking after the event, she said: ”I’m very proud of this achievement – and of the work that we have done with Metroline over many years. Our partnership is a fantastic example of what can happen when a top learning provider gets together with a company that is so committed to upskilling its staff.”

The College has now been working with Metroline for more than ten years, using the innovative approach of equipping a ‘learning bus’ – one of the company’s vehicles fitted out with the latest computers and other resources. The concept has proved so popular amongst learners and trainers alike that a second bus was officially launched last month. The bus was donated by Metroline, while the laptops and other learning resources within the bus are provided by the college.

Union Learning Representative (ULR) Tom O’Callaghan drives the bus around Metroline’s garages, helping to market and organise the courses as well. ULRs play an important role in encouraging their colleagues to take up training opportunities. The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London leads the way in producing new ULRs, having trained thousands in recent years. Tom said: “It really is a win-win situation. Drivers can use the bus in their own time, or when they’re on standby duties. Some people are so keen on using the Learning Bus they come in on their holidays!”

Employees have been able to take courses – and gain qualifications – in literacy, numeracy and computer skills, as well as a special NVQ qualification in passenger transport, taken by new drivers.

Jane O’Neill, The College’s Vice Principal of Curriculum and Learner Experience, said of the award: “We’re proud of the work we do with companies like Metroline, so it’s great for them to recognise us in this way. It’s just one of the exciting ways that we are taking learning out of the classroom and direct to people in their workplace.”

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