51ԹϹ

Together we transform: Kooner Singh – Workpays Derby

Kooner Singh, Operations Manager at Independent Training Provider Workpays, Derby, emphasises the importance of continuous professional development (CPD) and fostering an inclusive learning environment to ensure that learners feel supported on their journey.  


Headshot image of Kooner Singh, Workpays Derby

When I took on the role of Operations Manager at Workpays, I wanted to make sure that I maintained a close connection with our community and learners. I know that by engaging with, and understanding the different needs of our learners, I can better support them to achieve and progress to the next stage in their life.  

At Workpays, we focus on how we are able to meet the needs of individuals and provide the best learning environment for them. This is particularly important when we are supporting learners across our diverse city of Derby. 

Creating an inclusive environment 

An inclusive learning environment for a learner is the cornerstone of my approach. At Workpays, our smaller class sizes give us the opportunity to interact with each learner more frequently. We can create customised learning plans that cater to their needs while facilitating a environment that feels relaxed. Our goal is to make every learner feel empowered, comfortable and supported. Whether that is seeing an improvement in attitude towards their development or motivation, providers like Workpays go beyond the individual in a classroom – it impacts their whole life and those around them. 

I remember one experience with a learner who suffered from severe anxiety and struggled to leave the house or go to the shops. Advisors in the area were unable to find the best provision for this young person, so they got in touch with me.  

Part of what we do here is listen: listening is really key to building rapport with each individual so we can make the environment the right fit for them. I worked with the family over the phone initially and we organised a visit to Workpays on a quiet day. The learner started to open up slowly, talk to us and eventually started coming into the centre two afternoons a week. This was a huge breakthrough. Over time, the learner began attending classes more regularly, even taking the bus to Workpays.  

It was a profound change, not just for her, but for her entire family. To see her make such a transformation was truly a career highlight. This learner has now gone on to complete her first year at college and we couldn’t be prouder.  

Examples like this show just how important Independent Training Providers are to close the gaps and provide a flexible approach. This ultimately supports learners to be able to sustain, pass and achieve their qualifications so they can thrive.  

The importance of upskilling 

As educators, it’s essential that we are equipped to deal with the complex needs of our learners. Engaging with ongoing CPD is one way to keep our knowledge and skills current and at the forefront of our delivery. This ensures we provide the best possible educational experience for our learners to pass their qualifications. 

No matter what level you are, everyone can benefit from CPD training. We also offer tailored support around more sensitive subjects such as Prevent. It’s key to gain knowledge in these areas, to help support our learners and communities in the best way possible. 

Supporting the next generation 

We know we are not a school or a college; we’re a training provider that is getting these people ready for the world of work. The key difference for us is that these learners are at a stage where they want to earn, they want to build their confidence, have a career, or go on to do further study elsewhere.  

It’s the satisfaction of knowing that someone has come to Workpays and we’re able to give them a fresh opportunity and support that means they gain a qualification and can go on to achieving bigger and better things. 

Witnessing learners go on to have successful careers, or achieve further qualifications is what it is all about. It is so pleasing to see that a small change has made a big difference and with the help of an Independent Training Provider like Workpays, I have helped learners progress to a place they never thought they would be.  


Find out more

Find out more about our Together we transform initiative, and view other case studies, highlighting the transformative impact that the further education and skills sector has on lives across the UK.