Published by Skills for Justice
Skills for Justice Members celebrate Learning at Work Week and commit to the ongoing development of their people
We are delighted to be an official national activity partner of Learning at Work Week, the biggest festival of workplace learning in the UK.
This year’s theme is ‘Made for Learning’, which focuses on our human capacity to learn. It is based on raising awareness around how we can be great lifelong learners and the importance of connection and community for developing empowered people and dynamic organisations, built on three pillars of learning.
Human = Learning
Human = Curiosity
Human = Connecting
During Learning at Work Week (LAW) we will look at each of these pillars in more detail and share the LAW activities of Skills for Justice Members, based on each theme.
For the final part of our Members Insights Series, we are looking at the third pillar of learning; Human = Connecting.
This is a series of three articles, if you have missed the previous articles, you can read them here:
By connecting with others, we learn new things that enrich our lives. We can share our talents and skills, discover different perspectives, and improve our understanding of how our organisations work. We can create networks that sustain learning, encourage collaboration and enhance the skills and knowledge in our organisation and work communities.
In our second insights piece, we explained the value of evidence-based intelligence and research like our COVID-19 Insights: Impact on staff and priorities for recovery report as a helpful tool for reflection. Whilst many of the outcomes of our report, ‘COVID-19 Insights: Impact on staff and priorities for recovery’ cast a negative light on the impact of the pandemic, the research also reveals areas where there have been several positive workforce-related benefits as a result of changed ways of working, due to the crisis. 74% of respondents stated improvements in team working, with extensive collaboration mobilised amongst staff to ensure the best outcomes.
COVID-19 has accelerated this collaboration. Throughout the pandemic, our Emergency Services have worked closer than ever together to protect our NHS and help save lives.
Jon Parry, Head of Research at Skills for Justice, has previously conducted extensive research on emergency services collaboration and has co-written national reports for JESIP and the Home Office; the latter of which was cited in the Policing and Crime Act (2017).
Now, together with Professor Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay and Dr Helen Ackers, Birmingham University, he is revisiting this body of work in order to understand what progress has been made in embedding effective collaboration across Ambulance, Fire and Rescue and Police services, and what barriers and enablers still remain today.
Jon said: “This research is ambitious in its efforts to support current and future collaboration. It aims to ensure that it can continue its evolution to bring about a revolution in service delivery which completely transforms the workplace and the workforce; creates opportunities to reduce costs; maximises effectiveness, and increases public confidence.”
Collaboration was a key theme we focused on in the recent Skills for Justice Members-only event, held in March 2021. Associate, Mike Cunningham joined the prestigious virtual event panel, during which he highlighted the importance of collaboration across sectors, and how vital working collectively is in tackling complex community safety challenges with multifaceted solutions. Our members-only knowledge exchange events are the perfect platform for representatives from across the police, fire and rescue, offender management and the wider justice sector to come together to discuss current topics, share insights about their challenges and make connections with like-minded employers.
Skills for Justice Members, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have organised an exciting learning programme working with colleagues across the MoJ family to provide a diverse range of activities throughout Learning at Work Week, including:
- Career journeys – within the Civil Service, and from the private sector to the Civil Service
- How to … produce a good learning plan; pivots / charts in Excel
- Fun at Lunchtime presents … Dingbats, the art of tea drinking, basic Italian
- Wellbeing – Tai Chi, mindfulness, hatha yoga
- Develop Yourself – ‘Fantastic failure & recoveries’ (stories from colleagues who have triumphed in the face of apparent adversity), energisers / de-energisers etc.
- Learn more about … employee benefits & R&R, MoJ networks, being a prison officer etc.
Julie Allen, Leadership, Talent and Capability Team Member at the MoJ said: “It doesn’t matter where we are all working now, the Ministry of Justice is committed to keeping colleagues connected so that learning continues and supports our colleagues.”
Overall, we should not forget the human part of this campaign or learning in general. Our unprecedented experiences over the last 15 months have made a significant impact on the wellbeing of our colleagues, leaders and the entire workforce. Our report, ‘COVID-19 Insights: Impact on staff and priorities for recovery’ shows that 68% of workers reported a negative impact on mental health due to the pandemic, and 45% on physical health, which in many cases led to staff sick leave, or even resignations.
It is highly important and relevant, now more than ever before, that leaders approach staff concerns about mental health and wellbeing. Here at Skills for Justice, we are committed to supporting organisations across the sector to include wellbeing activities in their learning and development strategy, not only during LAW week but for the year, and beyond. Only if we are well, we can continue to learn, grow and provide the best services for our community.
Got questions about wellbeing of your employees, how to work more collaborative across your organisation or with other sectors? Our workforce experts are here to help. Get in touch now.
Join our Skills for Justice Membership which is the perfect platform to connect with like-minded professionals and to nurture effective collaboration across the justice sector. You can find out more about our Skills for Justice Membership here.