Merseylearn, the Unionlearn-funded project which supports transport sector workers in the North-West have this to say about their “ULR Of The Decade”, the inspirational Ya Ching Darnell
Ya Ching was born in Taiwan and speaks Mandarin as a first language, in 2002 she joined Merseytravel, the Liverpool City Region Transport Advisory and delivery body as a cleaner at the Mersey Ferries.
Her first contact with Merseylearn was soon after its launch in 2004, taking up an opportunity to improve her literacy and numeracy through an in-house Skills for Life course. This led to a successful pass in the national tests for Literacy at level 1 and 2 and Numeracy at level 1. 2006 Ya Ching has moved on to work as assistant in Aquarium then moved on to work on the front line to checking tickets at the Mersey Ferries.
With an infectious love of learning, Ya Ching seldom missed a chance to talk about her experiences and constantly encouraged others to make use of the learning facilities within Merseytravel, this didn’t go unnoticed by the Merseylearn team, and Ya Ching was invited to become a Union Learning Rep.
In 2007 Ya Ching also started to boost her professional qualifications, and achieved the European Computer Driving Licence before then going on to achieve her level 2 Numeracy soon after. With all of this behind her it’s no wonder she won the award for the North West learner of the year and running up for the National leaner of the year, as well as being runner up for the North West ULR award of the year !
This fantastic achievement was even recognised by government, when Ya Ching was invited to the House of Lords for an employment and skills conference focusing on women in the workforce.
Ya Ching continued her learning journey by taking an Academic English course at Liverpool Community College, and swiftly followed this by completing a full degree.
Her next learning was an Institute of Leadership and Management qualification, with the aim of building on her existing skills to drive her career forward. This dedication to improving her abilities and confidence was rewarded with her appointment to the Merseytravel Corporate Engagement team, engaging with the community in innovative ways and supporting them to access education and employment through transport solutions.
Working alongside the other ULRs, both within Merseytravel and the wider transport sector, Ya Ching has helped many workmates engage with learning, supporting them not only in their initial approach to Merseylearn, but also using her knowledge to help them achieve their own goals.
Ya Ching is an inspiration to all colleagues and the travelling public and communities at large whom she communicates on a daily basis. Her commitment, dedication and enthusiasm to work, learning and supporting people are second to none.