Learning through lockdown: How Geason – A Speedy business, never stops

Lockdowns have shifted the priorities for many UK businesses but the pandemic should be no barrier to continuing your employees professional development. Companies still need to have the right skills in place to tackle this challenging period and make the most of the opportunities that will come as the economy recovers. And at the same time, employees, some of whom will be working remotely, need to stay motivated and continue with their career progression.

Training is fundamental to achieving this, from site-based roles like construction site supervision, plant, access and lifting training to back office functions in business administration, team leading and management, quantity surveying, or digital marketing. We have continued to deliver training courses safely and successfully throughout the pandemic using remote and online solutions. The only exception to remote delivery is for key workers, in which case the learner, employer and the Geason trainer can continue to deliver training in person, following strict social distancing measures.

Here we tell the story of Chloe Kite, a recruitment apprentice at Kent-based infrastructure delivery, civil engineering and multi-utilities contractor blu-3, who achieved a diploma in business administration during lockdown and a period of furlough.

The challenge – delivering an effective training programme through lockdown restrictions

blu-3 needed to continue its apprenticeships and staff training through the disruption caused by lockdown and furloughs, providing engaging and rewarding remote learning for colleagues in a range of roles. That required a training provider that could work flexibly to support learners as they worked towards nationally recognised qualifications, ensuring their professional development continued.

The solution – a bespoke remote learning solution

When Chloe joined blu-3 as an apprentice in the HR department, the business was keen for her to develop her skills quickly, so she could take on responsibilities around recruitment and staff training. A Business Admin Level 3 diploma was identified by blu-3 as a rapid route to achieving the skills she needed, and she was enrolled on the Geason course in August 2019. Despite lockdown restrictions commencing last March, and even during a period of furlough, Chloe was determined to continue her learning, with support from her dedicated trainers. Regular online meetings were held to review Chloe’s progress and her trainers were on hand to give feedback on her work, answer questions and provide support. And lockdown didn’t stop Geason’s final exams, which were conducted over a video call using in-house invigilators.

Success – training and support that delivers results

Chloe was an exceptional apprentice. After finishing the course with a distinction, she has now been promoted to Trainee HR Business Partner, armed with the knowledge and skills she needs in her current role and to progress her career. And Chloe has been so enthused by her success that she now plans to take a CIPD Level 5 Diploma in People Management.
She said:

“I was very driven to keep my apprenticeship going, despite the pandemic. There was some inevitable disruption when lockdown restrictions were first introduced, but I was well supported on the whole by my two trainers. I had online meetings with them where we would set progress targets, then they would come back to me with feedback on my work.
The course was a perfect fit for me. Now I have more opportunities to grow and progress onto higher-level courses.”

At Geason we are making every effort to ensure that the quality of the learning experience is not hindered by the current situation. For more information on the training courses and apprenticeships offered during lockdown, please visit Apprenticeships.

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