Benefits of Learning at Work in the spotlight

Local people are set to benefit from an array of free workshops during Learning at Work Week next month.

From 15 May Bristol Learning City partners alongside Bristol organisations and businesses, will be staging free taster sessions and taking a fresh look at how being ‘curious and creative’ when learning at work can have many benefits.

The week’s activities are wide-ranging and demonstrate that learning isn’t limited to studying at school. Free tasters include basic computer skills sessions, CV workshops and careers advice with Unite the Union, problem solving workshops and an employability workshop for refugees and asylum seekers with solicitors Clarke Willmott.

BCfm will be offering wannabe radio presenters the chance to try out their skills live on air, whilst a British sign language poetry workshop will be held at the Bristol Energy hub. There will even be a free laughter yoga session at the Arnolfini for those who want to learn how to relax and de-stress.

Paul Jacobs, Director of Education and Skills, said:

“Learning comes in all shapes and sizes and one aim of the Learning at Work Week activity is to get people thinking about the opportunities that already exist in their workplace.

“Whether it’s something which will improve your productivity or a new creative skill from a colleague, there are huge benefits to be had from learning. Since Bristol became England’s first Learning City we have been working with a wide range of organisations to promote the value of learning and skills to improve all of our lives. The workplace is a great place to start.”

Local people are being encouraged to sign up to the taster sessions planned or to host their own Learning at Work Week events. Ideas include skills swaps in the office, first aid workshops, learning lunches and social media training.

Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at University West of England and Learning City’s lead for Learning for Work, said:

“Learning new things can make an extremely positive impact on our lives, both at home and at work. It’s so important to be creative in our approach to learning at work and we have much to learn from one another.”

Other free activities during the week include a facilitation workshop where participants can learn how to overcome difficult issues and a session about using the council’s online services. Over tea and cake at the Bristol Energy hub, those over 55 are being invited to share their working stories with younger people just starting out in their careers.

Sherrie Eugene-Hart, TV presenter, correspondent and producer from Bristol and an Ambassador for Learning City, said:

“Learning new things can be great fun and actually change lives. We’d like to encourage everyone to take the time to share a skill, learn something new or get colleagues to reflect on the power of learning during Learning at Work Week this year.”

Organisations involved include Bristol City Council, Clarke Willmott, Arnolifini, Unite the Union, BCfm Radio, Bristol Energy, LinkAge Bristol and Ovo Energy. For more details and to book places on the taster events, visit: http://bristollearningcity.com/learningatworkweek