Poor English skills mean migrant workers are twice as likely to be killed or suffer injuries in the workplace because they are unable to grasp vital safety rules and instructions. These startling figures compiled by the HSE showed that many workers are also worried they risk losing their jobs if their lack of English becomes known – and so pretend to have understood critical Health and Safety training.
A new Workplace English App – developed in partnership with Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation and language experts the FlashAcademy – supports migrant workers by delivering health and safety technical training and general English skills in 20 home languages. The app combines both technical and general English training, helping manufacturers to improve communication, safety, and productivity levels.
Recent changes in Health & Safety legislation now require employers to demonstrate that not only has training been delivered, but that their employees have understood it and acted on the information. The health & safety content and lean manufacturing content for the app has been delivered by Make UK experts.
The app covers off training across a wide range of topics and delivers:
- COVID-19 category to ensure employees understand new rules and messaging surrounding COVID-19 in the workplace. Lessons cover vocabulary on the virus, symptoms, government guidelines, social distancing, hygiene and cleaning, PPE, risk assessments and workforce management. Features realistic dialogue challenge centred on a coronavirus-related workplace scenario to reinforce messaging.
- Health and Safety briefings and helping employees understand regulations in the workplace.
- Productivity improvement while developing employee culture and communication with training that covers industry-specific vocabulary as well as developing general English skills
The app is accessible on all devices to allow companies to assign bespoke training to each employee and will not require dedicated time away from the production line as the training can be done any time. The learning is delivered via a blend of traditional lessons, games and adaptive technology and uses a unique object translator, so learners can point their device at any object around them to understand how to say the word in English.
A key supplier, Lander Automotive, has been piloting the new FlashAcademy Workplace app for their migrant workers. There are 9 million workers in the UK with low literacy, limiting their access to work now, and to further training for the jobs of the future.