Celebrating ’good’ has never been more important, and one regional organisation that supports countless other businesses across the country jumped at the chance to sign up to the Good Work Pledge – an initiative by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) which recognises ’good work’ that boosts the region’s economy.

Although being based outside of the North of Tyne, The Learning Curve Group is eligible to be part of the scheme due to its significant operations delivering education and training opportunities via fully funded courses and apprenticeships in the region. The Spennymoor-based company offers services both directly to individual learners and employers, as well as through Further Education (FE) providers, and is one of many to sign the pledge, putting people at the heart of their business.

A group of people sat in a stadium

Learning Curve Group conference 2021

Eager to become involved at the soonest opportunity, Louise Clough, Learning Curve Group’s Director of People explained: “This type of initiative really fits with our culture, and it’s important to us to be part of it. We want to continuously find ways to make our workplace the best it can possibly be for our dedicated and passionate people. We know that if our staff are happy, we can change more lives through learning. It’s absolutely central to our cause and what our business is made for.”

The pledge has allowed organisations including Your Print Specialists, Sage, Newcastle University, Haines Watts, Robson Laidler and Karbon Homes, to gain recognition for providing or working towards providing ‘good work’.

Consisting of two levels, standard and advanced, businesses taking the pledge provide evidence that demonstrates they meet criteria mapping out what ‘good’ means across five key areas. These are: valuing and rewarding the workforce, promoting health and wellbeing, effective communications and representation, developing a balanced workforce, and social responsibility. Applicants demonstrate that they either meet or are actively progressing towards all of the key criteria in at least two of these pillars for a standard award, and five pillars for the advanced.

Louise added: “The process has been very simple and straightforward. It’s very easy to do, and we’d encourage any business to be part of the scheme, which is another way in which we can unify our team and learners around the strong values we operate by. Although we’re based in the North East, it’s vital that our field-based staff and those around the country feel as engaged as our team members at our Head Office in County Durham. Since becoming part of the Good Work Pledge, all the feedback from the team has been very positive. It’s something else great to celebrate, and that has been really nice after the challenges of the last 18 months.”

Learning Curve Group is in a period of growth, currently building its team with 10 school leavers having just joined the business as apprentices, bringing its total number of new apprentices this year to 25, including some Kickstart employees. The company is no stranger to initiatives that champion ‘good’, with car sharing and cycle to work schemes to support the environment, robust mental health assistance, being part of the Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant, and supporting military veterans to learn and teach trades through its national network of 17 academies. It also match-funds donations to good causes made by its community partners and last year, gave £20,000 to assist the response to Covid-19 in County Durham.

Louise said: “It’s incredibly important we take these steps in our region, where so many staff live, as one of the North East’s biggest employers. We have a responsibility to provide opportunities and we want to set an example. The Good Work Pledge is one way in which we can.”

From supporting the community and reducing carbon footprint, to looking after the wellbeing of staff, the Good Work Pledge was created in partnership with industry, community experts and businesses from the North of Tyne region and beyond. Companies like Learning Curve can demonstrate their commitment to providing good jobs that provide security, development opportunities and a decent standard of living – all of which is good for the region as a whole.

Apply to join the pledge and be part of the change for good. Visit northoftyne-ca.gov.uk/projects/good-work-pledge.