Conrad Bateman is a Union Learning Rep with responsibility for promotion of the ULF project within the Skipton Building Society. 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.
In January 2016 he attended the stage 1 ULR training course and whilst he found the content challenging (due in part to his dyslexia) he completed the course with an enhanced level of motivation to establish a more meaningful future where he “…wouldn’t have to be cleaning for the rest of my life…”
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 is an area of specialism for him and he is satisfied that there is a market).
Andrew Lambert, Project Worker, Aegis unionlearn said:
"He asked if I could assist in provision of advice, guidance and support and so we agreed to enter into a formal mentoring arrangement in February 2016.
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 Futurelearn courses aimed at learners who were proposing to set up a business."
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.
The 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.