UK businesses prepare for 25th Learning at Work Week
From the 15th to the 21st of May, organisations across the UK will be focused on raising the profile of lifelong learning at work.
This year’s theme of ‘Create the Future’ has been developed in response to growing questions surrounding rapid technological change in the workplace. To accompany this, Campaign for Learning’s recent report, Driving-up employer investment in training – pressing the right buttons, recently highlighted a need to boost demand for learning and skills training to support high performance working in the UK.
Employers have been hard at work putting in place engaging agendas for their employees and sharing their plans.
Airline easyJet has 24 events happening throughout the week with a variety of internal and external speakers who will cover a range of topics. Opening the week, they have a double Olympian giving exclusive insights into the mind of an elite athlete, talking about their own approach to lifelong learning, along with a variety of other sessions throughout the week. BT will be delivering activities for their 110,000 global colleagues from spotlight podcasts to daily virtual live events. Meanwhile, the RNLI is embracing this year’s theme of 'Create the Future' by inviting colleagues to share work they are progressing across the organisation under this theme. Popular food-to-go retailer, Greggs, has taken part in Learning at Work Week since 2011. From sign language workshops and financial wellbeing webinars to podcast recommendations and systems tutorials, the organisation is passionate about the benefits the week can bring, and has a range of events planned for 2023.
Julia Wright, National Director of Campaign for Learning, said: “For its 25th year, Learning at Work Week is focused on how we ‘Create the Future’. As the world of work is changing rapidly, particularly with the advent of new technologies powered by artificial intelligence, shining a spotlight on learning makes business sense. For businesses to succeed, supporting employees to learn and constantly refresh their skills and knowledge is key.
“Whether it’s through internal talks, workshops, masterclasses, or Q&As, employers are using Learning at Work Week to give their people a space to explore, identify opportunities around learning and development, and move forward together.”
Katie Wood, Learning and Development Advisor at Greggs, said: “It encourages our colleagues to take part in personal and professional development workshops and enjoyable learning activities. They're given an opportunity to meet new people, learn a new skill, and spend some time developing themselves. We get so much positive feedback. Our colleagues genuinely look forward to participating in Learning at Work Week every year and we get lots of questions throughout the year about what they can expect from the week. We've even had colleagues volunteer to deliver activities or tutorials and help out in the run up to the week!
“Planning is key to a successful week. We also like to make sure we advertise the week as much as possible - this means emails, flyers, posters, and videos. Get your colleagues excited about the week even before you've decided on your activities; it'll set the tone and create a buzz amongst teams. I'd also recommend keeping it simple and not trying to fit in too much. Think carefully about the types of activities you feel will be beneficial or enjoyable for your colleagues. It's better to do a few activities really well than deliver unfinished sessions!”
Matt Vass, Learning & Development Advisor at easyJet, said: "Learning at Work Week is a fantastic experience & opportunity for our people to explore, learn & grow. We've been inundated with volunteers to facilitate learning and share their knowledge. We’re also working with a number of key suppliers to make the week even more beneficial. The highlight of the week is a session with a double Olympian swimmer who will be talking about goal setting for sustained success and happiness in this ever-challenging world of work. There is a definite buzz in the air and we're very excited about the week ahead!"
Summer Rana, Social Media & Campaigns Professional at BT said: ‘We’re re-imagining what it means to learn here at BT, and for this year’s Learning At Work Week, we’re taking a ‘read, watch, listen and do approach’ to our campaign. With over 110,00 global colleagues, it’s more important than ever to make sure the campaign experience, activity and content is as inclusive and accessible as possible. We’re driving a culture of curiosity and choice, so that colleagues exist in an environment where they can be their best – with the right opportunities at their disposal. Learning At Work Week 2023, leans into our strategy of unlimited and lifelong learning, as we’re on a journey to dramatically increase engagement in learning outside of what colleagues are required to do’.
Paula Marande, Organisational Development Adviserat the RNLI, said: “The RNLI is a learning organisation. We are extremely proud that every day we train people, often with no marine experience, to become our lifesaving crew. Our lifeguards expertly keep our beaches safe, whilst our highly talented staff support our apprentices to create a sustainable RNLI that is fit for the future. This is just the tip of the iceberg - we are all learning all the time.
“We are therefore proud to celebrate Learning at Work Week and this year’s theme of ‘Create the Future’ enables us to internally celebrate the passion and talent of our people. During the week we are showcasing a variety of internal presenters and sharing resources on a number of topics, including thinking strategically about the future, changing perceptions, empathy mapping, data hackathons, communications and meetings in a hybrid world.
“We are hoping the week provides our people with some opportunities to learn, try something new and connect with others. It also supports the RNLI's commitment to continuous development - one of our areas of focus from our recent employee survey.”
Find out more about what's happening around the country on the Learning at Work Week website and read our special interview with Greggs on their Learning at Work Week.