2020 started with a sense of optimism for many, none more so with the Aim High Project. We look back at a year of challenge and a year of change.
We commenced with building on our learning programs through our learning partners both online/distance and face-2-face courses. We also started developing a small army of Union Learning Reps (ULRs) to further push the learning agenda within GMB’s London Region.
Then the pandemic struck. Any face-2-face learning stopped and visits to branch meetings and workplaces were cancelled. Our 40+ ULRs were left without access to GMB’s training programme which impacted our ability as a project to promote the work we do.
We had to change direction. We began focusing on our online and distance learning offerings. Our learning partner, Skills Network, has allowed us to offer over 40 fully funded Level 1 & 2 courses, alongside learner funded CPD and Level 3/4 courses. Through GMB’s Branch, Regional and National Learning funds, our eligible members have been able to access financial support for Level 3 and higher courses that aren’t fully funded.
Bridgewater & Taunton College
We also teamed up with Bridgewater & Taunton College to offer further online/distance learning, including fully funded Level 1 & Level 2 courses. This gives our members an even greater (and growing) catalogue of accredited courses to choose from.
Redundancy, Numeracy, Support
But we didn’t stop there. In a year that has impacted many of our fellow GMB members, support in both redundancies and in new ways of working, Aim High have worked with GMB Regional Officers and Branches to assist members across the London Region.
We pull together all our current redundancy support to help members check their own skills, to challenge themselves and to discover their potential. It also allows members facing redundancy to not only up-skill themselves but to help with job searching, CV writing and interview techniques.
Aim High is a key partner with the National Numeracy Challenge, helping members to focus on maths and numbers by breaking down the fear that many adults have towards numeracy in the UK. Through the GMB National Lifelong Learning Project, we have supported over 65 members to go through the challenge and we encourage further members to challenge themselves too!
We have also set members up onto various learning webinars including sessions on isolation, using social media, budgeting and Dementia Friends (these links are for previous events, some are able to be viewed again from our colleagues over at GMB Reachout).
Aim High will continue into the new year. We are working to further develop our online programmes as well as offering further support to members facing redundancy in the future.
Despite the Government funding being withdrawn for Union Learning projects from the end of March 2021, we are focused on supporting GMB members with learning right until then.
We don’t know the future of the project after this, but we are determined to push to keep union learning an integrated and essential part of GMB member subscriptions.
Thank You & Christmas Closure
As always thank you to our members for their support for Aim High. 2020 has been difficult for everyone but we are encouraged by the learning uptake from GMB members in the region.
Our Aim High email, phone lines & social media accounts will not be monitored during our Christmas Closure period from 2:30PM on 23rd December 2020 until we re-open at 9AM Monday 4th January 2021.
Our website and course enrolment (unless we have to manually enrol you) will continue to operate.
Despite the ongoing situation, we would like to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
2020 hasn’t stopped us learning and we believe 2021 will be no different.
Solidarity this Christmas,
Chris & Rachel
Aim High Project Workers