WLAs Win Award 2014

Workplace Learning Advocates celebrate award for a pioneering approach to learning at work

Lincolnshire and Rutland Workplace Learning Advocates (WLA) network has won the prestigious NIACE Midlands Region workplace project award for its innovative approach to peer learning support. The Adult Learners’ Week Awards celebrate the achievements of outstanding adults that have transformed their lives and benefitted their workplaces through learning. Lincolnshire and Rutland Workplace Learning Advocates (WLA) is a network of colleagues who champion learning opportunities in non-unionised workplaces.  They are supported by the national WLA initiative which is managed by Workbase Training and The Johnston Partnership.

Members of the Lincolnshire & Rutland Employment and Skills Board began the scheme in 2011 to improve the skills base of the local workforce. Since then, over 40 WLAs from workplaces across Lincolnshire and Rutland have trained to offer peer-learning support with some completing an NVQ qualification in Information and Advice.

Over 600 employees across the region have engaged in learning in their workplace as a result of the approach. Skills developed range from beekeeping to maths, from first aid to vocational qualifications. Local employers who have a trained Workplace Learning Advocate in their workplace are delighted with the results finding that it’s a cost effective way of enhancing employee motivation and engagement.

“In a sparsely-populated rural area with many smaller businesses the Lincolnshire and Rutland Workplace Learning Advocates (WLA) network has proved invaluable in bringing local employers and employees together to share knowledge and resources. As a business we’ve found that our people are much more engaged and willing to try new things as a result of the Workplace Learning Advocates initiative. It has benefitted our company” said a local employer

Clare Hughes from the Lincolnshire & Rutland Employment and Skills Board said “The great thing about the Workplace Learning Advocate scheme is that everybody benefits. It is employee led, so it matches what people want and need in terms of learning, it brings benefits to the employer through improved engagement with staff and teams and it provides a mechanism for people across a range of businesses to share learning experiences and initiatives. I am delighted that the scheme has been recognised by NIACE.”