Winner: Pearson Promoting a Learning Culture - SME

"Establishing a learning culture for a diverse workforce"

Acro Aircraft Seating design and manufacture seats for today’s discerning airline passengers, balancing cabin economics and passenger experience.  Striving to create ‘perfect comfort for passengers’ 


Acro Aircraft Seating is a fast expanding SME business with a diverse workforce. Its new people strategy aims to ‘create a place where people are fulfilled and able to grow’. To support the strategy and establish an inclusive learning culture, Acro Aircraft Seating created a Learning at Work Week that demonstrated the breadth of ways to learn, and how networks can drive personal development.

The learning and development manager collaborated with a range of partners including colleagues, managers and suppliers to create a rich programme of learning assets and experiences promoted with the strapline ‘Space to Grow’. Colleagues took part in mini-workshops delivered by colleagues including on Ordnance Survey Maps and Geolocating, video editing and networking. Drop-in sessions provided one to one development support for managers and team members. With its supplier, the business launched the ‘Space to Grow’ learning hub as the go to platform for a range of resources accessible to all colleagues. Online webinars and leadership videos from external partners were also available.

All Learning at Work Week communications from initial video trailer to posters were branded with the ‘Space to Grow’ strapline and stand-out space travel graphics. Daily emails reinforced the company’s support for learning and promoted the week’s events alongside learning tips and a 5 day smarter working challenge.

The week was successful in engaging people from all areas of the business with a high level of involvement from line managers including all executives.

A series of significant shifts has occurred as a result of Learning at Work Week. Acro Aircraft Seating managers are equipped for ongoing development conversations with their teams. There has been a 15% increase in the setting of Personal Development Plan objectives and requests from over a quarter of employees for one to one discussions and consultations directly to the learning and development manager. The learning hub proved popular during the week and is now established as a valuable blended learning tool and a place where individuals and managers can find guidance and resources to support personal development.