Food company Heinz has opened a learning centre at its Luton factory to improve employees’ basic skills in English, Maths and IT.
These three subjects make up the key deficits in the UK skills, according to the Government and the CBI. They were specifically targeted by the Tomlinson Report into secondary education.
The centre is the result of a £50,000 joint investment by Heinz, the Learning and Skills Council in Bedfordshire and Luton and the GMB Union.
The sandwich-making factory, which has 550 staff, employs a high proportion of ethnic minority workers.
Site HR manager Graham Trevor said the idea for the learning academy sprang from the success of staff attending ESOL courses – English for Speakers of Other Languages.
“This is a big investment for us, but we believe in investing in our staff to help them improve their lives,” he said. “We also want to be as flexible as possible with our learning programme, so as well as providing academic courses we will offer lifestyle learning on subjects such as yoga and aromatherapy.”