Making a difference in the workplace
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Issue 9, November 2015


Welcome to the Supporting Learners Newsletter from unionlearn.  This electronic publication has been produced to keep you up to date with news, developments and resources that will help support learners in the workplace. 
Supporting Learners Events
Unionlearn has recently held some Supporting Learners events across the country which have been an opportunity to update union learning reps (ULRs) about resources, websites and support available from unionlearn and partner organisations.  

Each event was structured differently but they all included information on supporting learners to get on at work, creating case studies, supporting mid-life development and utilising social media.  All of the events have included a number of interactive activities, generated lively discussions and have been a chance for ULRs to share ideas and best practice.

The events in the Yorkshire and the Humber region included a presentation from Julie Tree from Careers Yorkshire and the Humber who gave an update on the National Careers Service, resources in the region and introduced a toolkit they have developed for ULRs to make use of (see the article below).

Feedback from the events has been positive.  A ULR who attended the event in Leeds said: "I found the event very useful in keeping my inspiration reserves topped up.  It was a great networking opportunity and I found it really useful hearing from ULRs from other unions."

A ULR who attended the Bristol event said "I really enjoyed it - there was a real buzz in the room!  Professional and knowledgeable unionlearn presenters.  Good presentation mediums used.  I look forward to attending another session in the future."

Look out for more Supporting Learners events taking place in early 2016.  For information about unionlearn events visit:
Toolkit for union learners
Careers Yorkshire and the Humber the National Careers Service contractor in the Yorkshire and the Humber region has produced a useful 'Toolkit for union learners'.  The resource includes information about the National Career Service and contains some useful resource sheets which learners can complete on 'planning ahead', 'knowing yourself' and 'next steps'.  The booklet also includes a number of useful contacts and links to resources such as a CV builder, career tools and job profiles.  Some of the information is specific to the Yorkshire and the Humber region but most of it will be of use to learners wherever they are based.  
The toolkit can be found on the unionlearn and the Climbing Frame websites.
Careersmart is a careers guidance website which was set up by the Prospect union.  The website contains a wide range of information to assist you with developing your career.  Topics include 'appraisals, evaluations and review', 'getting a new job', 'selling your skills' and 'health and wellbeing'.  There is a wide range of information about types of employment including apprenticeships, traineeships, freelance work and self-employment.  There are also a number of podcasts and tools such as a skills audit tool and a salary calculator.  On the website you will also find a Prospect 'Practical guide to planning and developing your career'. Visit the Careersmart website today!: 
Learning Rep: Winter 2015
Don't miss the most recent edition of the Learning Rep e-magazine.  In this issue we say goodbye to Tom Wilson who is retiring after six years as Director of unionlearn, find out about the new Constructing Your Future Learning Centre in Margate, hear from RCM's Head of Organising and Engagement, Denise Linay and meet the ULR of the Year, UNISON Learning Rep, Hannah Slade.  

Also in this issue you can find out more about unionlearn's Learning Campaign Support Officers and how they can help promote learning in your region.  

To access previous editions of the Learning Rep visit:

Stress Awareness

National Stress Awareness Day took place on the 4th of November 2015, a day to celebrate helping people to beat stress.  The theme for this year's event was 'Employee wellbeing as a worthwhile investment in your business'.  A useful guide has been produced by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) entitled 'Practical ways to de-stress and seek good health'.  The wellbeing booklet includes information on 'What is stress?', 'Ways to improve your wellbeing' and 'Your wellbeing at work'.  You can download the booklet for free from the ISMA website.  

Also on the ISMA website you can find information as to how you can help to raise awareness of how to deal with stress in the workplace, including ideas and tips for planning stress awareness events.  There are also some free downloads such as a stress questionnaire, facts about stress and some stress busting tips.  

Information and resources on coping with stress and stress management can also be found on the union learning Climbing Frame website: 
The Skills Show 2015

The Skills Show is a skills and careers event for young people.  This year's event is taking place from 19th to 21st November at the NEC in Birmingham.  The event provides a chance to learn about a huge variety of skills and careers opportunities, speak to employers about jobs and industry trends and find out about education, training and apprenticeships.  

At the event there will be an opportunity to have a go at different job-related skills and discover new interests.  There will also be a number of young people competing in skills competitions.  Unionlearn have a stand at the event with Unite the union, come and see us there!

It is free to visit the Skills Show.  To find out more information and to register to attend, please visit:
Anti-bullying Week 2015

Anti-bullying Week is taking place from the 16th until the 20th of November this year.  The theme for 2015 is "Make a noise about bullying" and is organised by the Anti-bullying Alliance.  The campaign aims to empower people to make a noise about bullying - whether it is happening to them or to someone else - face to face or online. Bullying can happen to anyone at any age.

Information and support on 'bullying at work' can be found on the Bullying UK website.  The TUC  and TUC WorkSmart websites also have information and links on bullying.
2016 Courses
Here are some online courses that are taking place in early 2016 that you or your colleagues might be interested in taking up...

TUC Education Courses
TUC Education is the TUC's training organisation for workplace reps and union officers.

Union Learning Reps Stage 1 online, 11 January 2016 (30 hours)
Introduction to Pensions Online, start date: 11 January 2016 (30 hours)
TUC Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety, start date: 11 January 2016 (36 weeks)
Cancer in the workplace online, start date: 11 January 2016 (6 weeks)
Employment Law Certificate online, start date: 13 January 2016 (60 hours).

For more information about TUC Education and to access a full course directory visit:

Futurelearn offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. 

Getting started with online learning, 4th January 2016 (2 weeks) with the Open University
Exploring English: Shakespeare, 11th January 2016 (6 weeks) with the British Council
Nutrition and Wellbeing, 18 January 2016 (4 weeks) with the University of Aberdeen
Start writing fiction, 18 January 2016 (8 weeks) with the Open University
How to write your first song, 25 January 2016 (6 weeks) with the University of Sheffield.

For more information and to find other free courses available from Futurelearn, visit:


Celebration of Learning: Mental Health First Aid Lite, 25th November 2015, Birmingham, morning course or afternoon course.

Celebration of Learning: Mental Health First Aid Lite, 2nd December 2015, Birmingham, morning course or afternoon course.

Northern region ULR Forum, 9th December 2015, Newcastle.  For more information and to book a place please contact Anne Cairns:

Supporting Learners Development Day, 8th February 2016, London.  For more information and to book a place please email Louisa Smith:

If you have any events you would like to promote in future issues of Supporting Learners News and/or on the 
union learning Climbing Frame website please email Louisa Smith:
Register on the unionlearn website
Register on the union learning Climbing Frame website
The next issue of Supporting Learners News will be available in January 2016.

Season's Greetings from everyone at unionlearn.

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