Thousands of Aviva colleagues across the UK are being given the chance to gain qualifications as they work, thanks to a new Learning Agreement between the insurer and Unite the Union.
Following a successful pilot in York, the arrangement was officially signed on 31st July and is now being rolled out to Aviva colleagues across the country. It is available to all Aviva UK employees, more than 14,000 in total. It is the first arrangement of its kind on this scale, between an insurance provider and Unite.
To date, more than 300 Aviva colleagues have gained qualifications through the pilot scheme. A further 100 employees are now expected to take part in the initiative each year.
Colleagues will have access to courses in a range of subjects including business management, providing financial services and team leadership, with the possibility of achieving new apprenticeship standards up to level five.
Anthony Fitzpatrick, Employee Relations and Global Policy Lead for Aviva says: “We’ve been working with Unite for four years now and we’re thrilled that we’ve now put a formal arrangement in place to support our colleagues. This Learning Agreement means people can improve their skills and knowledge – and ultimately pick up qualifications – in a way that suits their lifestyles.
“We’ve also seen so many people grow in confidence and take on new challenges as they’ve learned, and a number have gone on to pursue further studies. I’m delighted that now even more people can benefit from the scheme.”
Andrew Case, Lead Officer, Finance & Legal Sector, for Unite says: “This is the first agreement of its kind to be entered into between Unite and Aviva and represents a significant step forward in our relationship. The agreement will allow our Unite Learning Reps to build on their work of helping to deliver important learning opportunities to Aviva staff. Unite believes strongly that this Learning Agreement offers important opportunities for individual development and growth. The opportunities to staff and members from this agreement include improving existing skills and gaining new qualifications.”
“Unite welcomes this learning partnership with Aviva and we look forward to the exciting new learning opportunities we will be able to offer members in Aviva.”
Maria Nacey achieved a Team Leader NVQ level 2 qualification through the scheme: “I really enjoyed doing this course, it’s a great way to develop academic skills within the workplace, which help to further your career within Aviva. I loved working with my mentor who was very supportive throughout the term of my learning. As part of this course I retook my Maths and English GCSEs, which was a real bonus!”
Ade Carter recently completed a Level 5 NVQ in Business Management and Leadership through Unite Learning and Aviva: “Having not done any formal qualifications since I’d finished school, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I found the course to be really useful. The ability to draw on things I did during my working day as evidence for my development was fantastic and I certainly found it much easier and much more enjoyable to learn in this way. As a result of completing the Level 5 NVQ, I was able to apply for and be accepted for a Masters in Business Administration at Cranfield School of Management.”