Road to Recovery - Post Covid-19

The challenging year that we have all experienced gave SETA, an employer-led organisation, the chance, amongst other things, to review where we are and our future.  Not being able to do anything face-to-face for the past 18 months has been a struggle, so we re-engaged with our employers virtually with a “Road to Recovery” session via MS Teams.  The aim of the session was to update employers on our past year and inform them of our future plans, as well as obtain industry feedback. 

The session also allowed us to share our post Covid-19 Recovery Plans and to seek mutual support to ensure that the skills and training agenda is being tackled at a local level, and to remind employers know that we are there for them to help and support them as we are all facing an uphill challenge getting back on our feet as we come out of the pandemic.

Attendees were welcomed, and heard an update of SETA and what had to take place from March 2020 when SETA had to sadly close its doors along with the majority of the UK following Government instruction, how we had to ensure the safety of staff and learner, provide means to work remotely, introduce e-learning (a first for SETA), as well as maintain customer expectations and relations.

We re-opened our doors in May 2020 to small commercial groups following Government guidance and lessons from business.  But on a positive, it gave SETA the opportunity to partially refurbish classrooms and the workshops, and allowed a re-alignment of operations going forward.

From an apprenticeship perspective we had to set in place measures to deal with apprenticeship withdrawals as a fall out from the pandemic and ensure that support was in place for the mental health of both staff and learners.

Attendees also heard about SETAs future plans and new opportunities.  On a commercial basis these include delivering a new City and Guilds 2929 Electric Vehicle Course, a new AME (Experienced worker route), working with Carnival Cruises on hazardous and inspection work, as well as delivering CompEx EX12 Application design Engineer Course, and having the ability to deliver the level 5 Higher National Diploma (HND) in General Engineering.

The session also gave SETA, a registered charity, the opportunity to deal with the formal arrangements regarding our Association and its membership and trustees.  This was dealt with by Nick Vaughan of Paris Smith Solicitors.

The session was well received and feedback included:

Beth Varndell, ExxonMobil Fawley site Training Manager said “It is really important to take the opportunity to share how we have found working with SETA over the past year.  It has been really challenging time, but we found that the communications with you have been really excellent.  You’ve come up with some really creative solutions to how to overcome the situations we have found ourselves in, particularly through getting ourselves through End Point Assessment.  You’ve been great with the safeguarding and mental health making sure that our apprentice’s welfare was good during lockdown thank you for that.  And on top of that you managed to get the facility decorated.  It was an amazing use of time, so well done to the SETA Team.”

 Adam Pointer, Training Manager at DP World Southampton “It was an informative and well-presented meeting. I’m sad that SETA has had so many uphill struggles to contend with, especially this last Covid one. Future signs are heartening and I hope you start to see the rewards for all of your hard work.” 

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