27th August 2015
Location / Country / Region
B-post wants to actively create opportunities for all its employees. Colleagues who have not completed their secondary education in the past, still have an opportunity to obtain the diploma.
A lot of bpost employees do not have a diploma. In order to increase their employability and to support their development, bpost offers them the opportunity to graduate. The training is done through self-study and through individual coaching by an adult education provider. Previously acquired experience is thereby eligible to obtain exemptions for certain modules.
In order to obtain their degree, employees should take a test, invest time in group or individual work and attend group sessions. bpost finances the training completely.
Actors involved include:
- Employees without a secondary school diploma – B-post
- Ministries of education( flanders and wallonia, separately)
- 5 adult education providers in the Flemish region
- 2 centres de Promotion Sociale in the French region
- Vives (centre for long distance learning)
The project is aimed at the employees of B-post without a secondary school diploma (adult learners)
The collaboration between CVO Antwerpen and bpost started in 2013. The new programs restart in September and January, on a yearly basis. The employees are enrolled in a 2-year program.
Relevant links, websites, etc.
Video – a talk with bpost students at CVO Antwerpen on their use of computers and their experiences with the course: https://youtu.be/fpjiPRLxGQw
Several employees of B-post aren’t graduated from secondary school. Because this can be a problem when the firm is restructuring personnel or when workers want to work their way up, b-post initiated this program.
Links with the European Framework
This project can be seen as an initiative regarding LLL, but it is mostly a way for B-post to help its employees in a quickly developing economy.
Links with national / regional priorities
As said before, this initiative comes from B-post itself.
The government is a partner, but only because B-post itself initiated contacts to validate the diplomas and degrees for this program.
Political and Economic dimensions
Political: this project was a demanding task for the company itself because the government, although supportive, was not taking initiatives to activate this kind of programmes in companies. The decision-making process was very slow and inflexible. Because the department of education is a regional competence, both departments (Flemish speaking and French speaking) had to be contacted separately.
Economic: because the graduated employees already know how the company works it is for them to access a higher function in the company. Also, when employees are laid off, their diploma helps them to find a new job.
It is easier for people to get a job when fired. People enrolled in the program are motivated to start a new education after the program. It is easier to get a promotion within the company.
The diploma is a specific diploma, with a program that is useful for every employee. The program is adjusted to fit the needs of the employee, but from bpost too.
1. Detailed description
The goal of the program is to obtain a secondary diploma. The program is adjusted to the needs of the employees and employers. For example: the program contains English and French classes, but ICT-classes too.
The group of students are selected based on motivation. The group is limited to 15 employees a time. The students are counselled by the company during the program to stay motivated.
B-post pays for the whole education. The lessons are held on Saturdays to avoid overlapping with work hours.
Only two other companies were enrolled in a programme that is comparable.
The programme is adapted to the working environment, and fits the needs in time-management, skills,… of both parties.
Key success factors
The close counselling for the students.
The adaptation of the program to the working–environment.
The results are promising. Five people already finished the program.
Contributions to LLL Policy
The main contribution is the acknowledgment of the programme, which was ‘custom made’. The other contribution is that employees get a chance to get a diploma, which is important in our knowledge economy.
What could be adapted to other projects?
The idea that a company can facilite programmes for their employees can be adapted in several forms. Also, the idea of a ‘custom made’ programme is advantageous for both parties.
3. Lessons Learnt
Regarding the building of a shared definition of LLL in LLL-Hub
LLL in this example consists of giving an employee the chance to get a diploma in order to improve his or her work situation. It is a good link between the labour market and education.
Regarding the possibilities of having practices in LLL which evolve and become more innovative
The idea of leading people towards a diploma that can help them, instead of letting them go or hiring new people is a new and humane idea.
Regarding the key actors, their roles and activities in LLL
The key actor in this example is a company; this shows that companies can play a significant role in the LLL too.
Regarding the appropriateness between local / national and European frameworks and how to act upon them to make them converge
This program could be an example for other companies and countries.
The problem in Belgium specifically is that there are two Departments of education (Dutch-speaking and French–speaking). This makes it hard to start a programme that is comparable because the goals of the Departments differ and that they have different rules.
The process to start a new programme that doesn’t follow the same process as other programmes (because of the learning hours for example) goes very slowly despite the fact that the projects benefits both the employees and the companies, but the government also (reducing unemployment as a long–term objective). Also, companies are not informed about this kind of initiatives. There lacks the possibility to exchange experiences between companies and to learn from each other.