We are living in unprecedented times and the challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus will have an impact on everyone in our society.
For the Educ8 Group, the safety and wellbeing of our staff, our Learners, our Employers and our community is our absolute priority. I am a firm believer that during difficult and fast changes times, open and clear communication with all our partners and stakeholders is of critical importance.
As soon as the scope of the COVID-19 crisis become apparent, Educ8 Group assembled a Crisis Management Team comprising of the Board of Directors and the heads of each department. As a team we have met each morning to assess the latest developments, agree contingency measures and maintain communications with key partners such as Welsh Government and sector representative bodies. As well as issuing regular updates to our customer base of Learners and Employers, we have issued daily bulletins to our entire workforce.
As the situation moves from the ‘Initial Reaction’ phase and in to a period where significant restrictions on people’s movements are likely, I want to take the opportunity to spell out what this will mean for our customer base of Learners and Employers.
- On Tuesday 17th March 2020, following UK government advice, we advised our staff to commence working from home where possible. All non-essential internal meetings were to move to digital platforms. All field based customer facing staff were equipped with hygiene wipes and gels.
- I feel we have a moral obligation to both our customers, our staff and our community to play our part in minimising the risk of transmitting the virus, so I have today (Thursday 19th March 2020) instructed that all customer visits are to cease until further notice, effective from 4pm Friday 20th March 2020.
- Our vastly experienced management team will implement a Remote Management Plan that will see each of our 170 staff contacted daily, their wellbeing and home working environment will be regularly assessed and regular scheduled group meetings and sessions will take place virtually to combat the risk of isolation.
- Our historic investment in technology means that we are able to continue to offer Apprentices the opportunity to enrol remotely using our digital sign-up process. This ensures that Employers and Learners will not experience any disruption in service or experience any reduction in the opportunity to access funded apprenticeship programs.
- Likewise, by investing in our digital teaching resources over many years, we are uniquely positioned to be able to continue our training provision throughout this crisis. 121 teaching sessions will be offered to Learners via SmartRoom video calling and workshop sessions via video conferencing. Our Moodle platform will ensure Leaners still have access to all of the digital resources they require for their course and work can be uploaded via our SmartAssessor portal which also provides Employers with visibility on their employees progress.
- Mindful that many of our customers will face challenges working from home and possibly looking after children, we will be offering our customers the opportunity of flexible contact hours. If an Employer or Learner would prefer to engage with us in the evening after children are in bed, or early in the morning – then my team will endeavour to facilitate such requests.
- Our telephone lines will remain open and manned, so please do not hesitate to contact us on 01443 749 00 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please reach out to your Customer Account Manager or Trainer Coach if you have any queries.
I am confident that the measures outlined above, which have been approved by Welsh Government, will allow us to look after our staff and still provide service to our Learners and Employers without in any way compromising on our high standards of quality.
As the situation evolves, it may be necessary for our approach to be updated, but in line with our values and ethos, we will continue to maintain an open and transparent dialogue with all concerned.
Educ8 Group, incorporating ISA Training