Conrad brushes up on skills with help from Aegis

Conrad Bateman is an Aegis member, and Union Learning Rep, who has been promoting learning and the union’s ULF (Union Learning Fund) project. His work role of caretaker/janitor means he is a regular figure around the building known by many colleagues and is to many the “face” of the project. Conrad also has a second job undertaking evening cleaning at a local school.

Conrad Bateman ®Private

2016 has been a very busy year for Conrad, and unionlearn caught up with him at the beginning of the year when he attended the ULR Stage 1 training course. Whilst he found the content challenging, due in part to his dyslexia, he completed the course feeling positive and motivated to establish a part time business giving the promise of a more meaningful future where he “…wouldn’t have to be cleaning for the rest of my life…” and he could stop the school cleaning.

At the course debrief he indicated his desire to set up and run an online Ebay shop trading in specialist caving and camping lamps. This was an area he had an interest in, knew well and was satisfied that there is a market.

Andrew Lambert is a Project Worker with Aegis unionlearn and, following a request from Conrad to assist in the provision of advice, guidance and support, agreed to enter into a formal mentoring arrangement in February 2016. 

Andrew said:

Having been self-employed previously I felt that I had knowledge that I could share and guidance that I could provide and the first action was to signpost Conrad towards a series of free online Future Learn courses aimed at learners who were proposing to set up a business."

Since then Conrad has continued to progress by committing time and effort into developing skills and learning with the support of the union.

Conrad had previously not realised the extent of online material that was available and further guidance has led to his enrolling on a discounted bookkeeping course. The benefit of this course is that it uses MS Excel that is also a program in which Conrad wanted to increase his knowledge.

In September 2016, Conrad attended a ULR day that Aegis unionlearn held at which he undertook maths and English assessment workbooks created by the Aegis unionlearn team. The day centred around union learning activities within the various workplaces and future initiatives to secure ongoing recruitment of ULRs. 

Andrew’s mentoring arrangement has also extended to attending the ULR stage 2 training with Conrad as a means of supporting him in the preparation of a project that he might be able to deliver to colleagues. 

His project for the course has been to fine tune his own business start-up plans to ultimately establish an ability to deliver peer-to-peer advice and guidance, and he is looking forward to providing support for collegaues at his workplace and boosting their own learning development.

During 2016 he has concentrated on getting his self-employed computer systems up and running with MS Word and Excel and reading-up on how to establish an Ebay shop. 

This commitment to learning was done at a time when Conrad was in the process of single-handedly rebuilding a stone fireplace and wood burner at his home, this was very necessary as this is his main form of heating and the original back boiler broke earlier this year.

Conrad has since been gathering stock for his venture and he is planning on “launching” in early 2017.

“I am the time people don’t have in helping them get back into development!”

Gemma CoxenCommercial Lending Administration Manager