DWP virtually onboards 13,500 new Universal Credit work coaches

Even before the pandemic, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had a strong desire to modernise its learning offer - but the need for a safe and efficient method of supporting over 13,500 new recruits accelerated this greatly, resulting in the DWP Transforming Learning Project.

The Learning Project moves away from traditional and often lengthy learning journeys. Science tells us how adults learn best and DWP is aligning themselves to this by moving away from classroom-based learning into the 70:20:10 learning model with support from leaders, coaches and mentors outside the classroom.

DWP is now seeing the impact from the Transformed Universal Credit Work Coach learning journey which has already helped make 13,500 new recruits operationally capable more quickly which helps meet the unprecedented Universal Credit customer demand.

John Paul Marks Universal Credit DG"This is fabulous progress, and a great example of innovation in delivery to transform experiences at pace – 52 down to 25 days is a huge leap; and great you’ll continue to iterate, test and learn," said JP Marks, the Universal Credit Director General.

The compression of the journey into a 25-day-format allows new recruits to streamline their learning and afford more time to continual improvement and operational learning.

The future impact of DWP’s Transforming and Modernising Learning strategy will make learning more focused, engaging and supportive to colleagues, not only in the classroom but in the flow of their day-to-day work.

"The work we have done so far to transform our learning service, in particular the more modular approach, will give us a sound base on which to build on as DWP’s service for customers continues to transform and evolve," said Cath Cant, DWP’s Transforming Learning Project Lead. "Moving to this approach has given our people more flexibility to learn in the flow of work and supports our hybrid way of working planned for the future."

The new learning journey is an example of using lessons learnt from across government and the Private Sector; it is also an exemplar of ‘domain knowledge’ building, strand 5 of the new Government Campus.

DWP has also set up working groups with other departments including HMRC, DEFRA, MOJ and the DVSA to help share good practice and identify lessons learned. 

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