Pharmacy Staff Offered Courses

Employees at The Co-operative Pharmacy’s National Distribution Centre (NDC) in Meir, Stoke on Trent, can now earn themselves qualifications in subjects including English, Maths, IT and first aid thanks to a partnership between

Stoke on Trent College, USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) and their employers.

USDAW – one of Britain’s largest trade unions working with a variety of industries and occupations – has signed a formal agreement with Stoke on Trent College at the Co-operative Pharmacy to offer employees opportunities to develop their skills and maximise their potential via the NDC’s lifelong learning centre.

Tutors from the College visit The Co-operative Pharmacy NDC on a weekly basis to offer two hour classroom-based sessions for the variety of courses. Already, 30 Co-operative Pharmacy employees have enrolled on the British Red Cross ‘Save a Life’ first aid course.

Malcolm Walker, Training Operations Manager at The Co-operative Pharmacy NDC, said: “As a Co-operative business we are committed to encouraging self help, education and training so we are delighted that the courses are already proving to be popular.

“We are grateful to USDAW for helping to fund the lifelong learning centre and in the near future we hope to extend the courses to include sign language and an Information Technology qualification.”

The Principal of Stoke on Trent College, Sarah Robinson OBE, signed the agreement on behalf of the College at a ceremony held at the NDC in Meir.

She was then taken on a tour by employees where she visited one of the classes that has benefitted from the agreement and met various representatives from the business.

Stoke on Trent College first worked with USDAW in 2006 helping to set up and maintain learning programmes in certain workplaces. This was implemented by identifying the correct courses and promoting them whilst maintaining the right suitability of what is on offer.

Working with Union appointed Union Learning Reps, the programme selects employees who will most benefit from these kinds of courses in both their personal and professional lives.

College Principal Sarah Robinson said: “I am delighted to sign this agreement with USDAW and the Co-op Pharmacy.  I am really impressed with the volume and range of training for employees and the work of the NDC in Meir.”

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