Promoting adult learning

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The Festival of Adult Learning has been an opportunity to recognise the efforts of locals who have been putting in the study.

Confidence Can has been working with several Oamaru businesses to improve the literacy and numeracy of their workforces, as well as helping employees adapt to an increasingly digital world.

The Oamaru company presented certificates this week to participants in the courses it has run, as part of the Festival of Adult Learning, which runs from September 2 to 8.

The courses were government-funded and took place in work hours.

SouthRoads has been working with Confidence Can since May. It has given all its employees tablets to be used for administrative purposes, as well as on the job.

Confidence Can co-director Lee Clark said the company needed to be “responsive and agile” to work in with the businesses.

“We do block IT sessions, but we can also meet people on site and have one-on-one sessions.

“A classroom setting wouldn’t work. We have to be adaptive to each business.”

The community as a whole benefited from adult learning, Mr Clark said.

“Anyone who is engaged in adult learning, their families instantly have improved educational expectations.

“With health and safety being what it is, managers have noted an improvement in communication during ‘toolbox’ meetings, where people are encouraged to talk in a crowd setting.”

SouthRoads operator foreman Colin Humby started out in the industry 20 years ago with a shovel and broom.

There was no need to be computer-literate then, he said.

“A lot of the guys were struggling with the tablets we were using in the field.

“I’m on TradeMe now, so I’m all right.”

Another SouthRoads employee, Shayne Stevenson, said the extra tutoring had been essential in him picking up further skills.

“I am a mechanic by trade and we didn’t have to do anything on computers.

“It is really good of SouthRoads .. to put in the time to help us upskill.”

Confidence Can spent the past week giving out certificates to other participating businesses, as part of its ongoing work in the community.