Learning at Work Week is an annual initiative designed to highlight the importance of continued education and development in the UK workplace.

The scheme, which is run by Campaign for Learning and takes place from October 5th to 11th, is driven by the ethos that ‘effective learning leads to change, development and the desire to learn more’. It’s a value that is shared by leading commercial roofing contractor, BriggsAmasco, which employs a number of apprentices and is committed to supplying the tools to support professionally-led staff training programmes.

Steph Palmer, Training Officer at BriggsAmasco, said: “Initiatives such as Learning at Work Week are really important. They highlight the fact that learning is for everyone, no matter an employee’s age or experience. The construction industry is continually evolving, therefore it is vital companies and their staff are able to keep abreast of new products, systems and practices.”

BriggsAmasco currently employs nine apprentices, seven of which will shortly achieve an NVQ Level 2 in roofing, a qualification that leads to a CSCS ‘blue card’ and allows the holder access to building sites across the UK. The additional trainee is gaining hands-on experience whilst working towards a quantity surveying degree apprenticeship at Leeds University, whilst another is serving an SVQ Level 3 Procurement apprenticeship.

The company is also enrolling more experienced staff on the NFRC’s RoofCERT scheme. Aimed at roofers with a minimum of three years in the industry, upon completion candidates will gain a national roofing accreditation as a visible means of their skills and experience.

As well as helping advance employees’ professional advancement, in 2017 BriggsAmasco implemented a programme related to personal wellbeing. Its mental health awareness training, which is due to be rolled out across the entire company, will help staff recognise signs of mental stress symptoms in themselves and colleagues.

With the coronavirus crisis continuing to have a devastating effect on the UK economy as well as people’s health, the need to take matters of the mind more seriously in relation to employees is gaining increasing acceptance throughout the building trade as a whole.

BriggsAmasco is also exploring the idea of introducing a ‘psychometric tools’ programme, a character analysis initiative to help staff gain a better understanding of each other in order to create a happier, more productive working environment.

Steph Palmer said the company’s mind awareness programmes had been well received by staff, who had bought into the idea that work could be mentally and physically challenging. “The feedback has been excellent,” she said. “The first stage of the programme involved our directors and branch managers gaining a mental health first aid qualification. The next phase will see us roll this out to all our operatives around the country. The reaction from staff has been one of pleasant surprise, with a general census being that mental health wasn’t necessarily something they’d thought about before, but were now a lot more thoughtful in their responses to mind-related issues.”

For more information on Learning at Work Week, visit: www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk