Postal Department Industrial Training Update
Branches will be aware that prior to the outbreak of Covid-19 the Postal Department had embarked on Train the Trainer events in relation to the various one-day industrial training courses. The aim of this initiative was to ensure that this training was delivered at pace by tutors/trainers who have live work experience in the relevant functions and business units. In addition and through the Divisional Training Leads liaising with Branches, any knowledge or skills gaps would be identified so that as many existing and newly elected representatives as possible in Royal Mail Group including Parcelforce could then attend the various courses.
Branches will however appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a significant impact on both the demand for and deployment of the postal industrial training program. Feedback that has been received from Postal Executive members through meetings held under the revised Divisional structure has however highlighted the need for postal industrial training to recommence in a format that takes account of the current restrictions.
This is of course a welcome development and illustrates that Field Officials and Branches are already setting out their priorities for the training and development of local representatives across the board. There is likely to be ongoing limitations with regards to residential training given the current Government guidance on social distancing and it is difficult to predict the associated timescales. There is therefore a need to develop a training plan utilising video technology that can be implemented both in the short-term and, if necessary, from the beginning of 2021.
Against this backdrop, the Postal Executive have met to consider the existing training challenges and to develop and deploy a hybrid modular training package that our existing trainers can present. The details of this programme of work are summarised below:
- A presentation-based training package is being developed to cover each of the main areas that currently make up the postal industrial training programme with the exception of resourcing.
- Each session will be a maximum of 90 minutes duration and will be presented via video through the various packages at our disposal.
- A training package will be set up on the use of a video conferencing system for the tutors/trainers prior to the launch of the video training programme.
- A pilot of the video training package will be carried out in the North East Division and where possible members of the Postal Training Sub-Committee and Postal Executive will be able to observe the pilot programme in real time.
- A full evaluation of the pilot will be undertaken by the Postal Education and Training Sub-Committee and a full presentation of the video training programme will be provided to the Postal Executive for their endorsement.
- Once agreed, each Division will establish a training programme to be completed within a reasonable timeframe.
Additionally and in order to ensure that once this work is completed the training can be delivered at pace, the following measures will now be progressed by the current allocated Postal Executive member in line with their respective Divisional Training Lead:
- Compile an up-to-date list of tutors/trainers identifying what areas they cover i.e. IR Framework, Conduct Code, Network etc. and if they are willing to continue to be part of the training team and undertake video training. This activity should be completed by the 24th July.
- Where it is recognised that gaps exist in the divisional training capability, additional tutors/trainers should be scoped and identified. These colleagues will then receive support via a hybrid train the trainer package currently under development.
The video training package will be kept under review on an ongoing basis and amended accordingly in light of live working experience.
This training is in addition to the current residential Postal Procedures courses provided by the Education and Training Department and members of the Postal Department Sub-Committee are currently working with the E&T Department in order to review this material.
In closing, it cannot be disputed that recent events have resulted in a need for our industrial training packages to be redefined and modified. The proposed course of action outlined above will however allow the Postal Department with the help of Divisions to ensure that high-quality industrial training continues to be delivered throughout the remainder of this year and possibly into 2021. This will undoubtedly be a major support to new Representatives and I therefore hope that as this initiative develops, Branches will make the most of this opportunity to ensure as many unit Representatives as possible benefit from this training programme.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)