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Top of the Class

Issued: 29 May 2008

A group of domestic staff are rising to the challenge as they work Speakers of Other Languages) lessons.

A number of workers across the Highlands do not speak English as their first language. Within NHS Highland communication is key for all workers and it is important to know that the support is there for those wishing to improve their English. Esther Dickinson, Policy Development Manager for NHS Highland, explained: "Each member of NHS staff should be supported with all personal development activities related to their jobs. Supporting staff wishing to develop their English language is something that we are absolutely committed to."

The classes started following joint working between staff union reps, managers in Facilities and the Planning and Performance Directorate. Staff from Facilities made it known that they would benefit from these classes and put themselves forward with classes starting in March 2008 after funding was received from Learning and Development.

Judie Holliday, English at Work Coordinator with the Workers Educational Association (WEA) co-ordinated delivery of the programme. She said:

"We arranged for a tutor to come in to meet with the staff and tour their place of work, the tutor then designed a series of sessions specific to the work of the staff. All the learners come from the domestics department and come along to the sessions twice a week for two hours. Attendance has been good and feedback to the tutor has been very positive.

"At the end of the course those taking part will have the option of completing a Scottish Qualification Award National Qualification in ESOL."

Those attending are already seeing the benefit and positive feedback from managers is already coming in, so much so that further funding has been given to continue the lessons for another 10 weeks.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme