Supporting learners autumn update
View this email in your browser
Issue 14, September 2016

Supporting Learners

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. 

Includes details of our Learning and Skills conferences around England this autumn - come along and hear the latest about Apprenticeships, the Apprenticeship Levy and maths and English learning.

Unionlearn Learning and Skills Events

A series of six Learning and Skills events will be run this autumn, for union representatives, project workers, employers and all those interested in the latest learning and skills developments.
The events will be a combination of presentations, interactive activities and updates on a range of topics including apprenticeships and English and maths. Each event will offer regional information and updates. They will be a great opportunity to share ideas and best practice.  

For more information and to register for one of these free events visit: 
The Apprenticeships Toolkit is for union officers, union representatives and union learning reps who are negotiating with employers on apprenticeships or who are approaching an employer to discuss the possibility of taking on apprentices. 

The factsheets provide concise information on a range of topics related to apprenticeships.  They also highlight the key elements of a good quality apprenticeship.  For more information and to order a copy of the toolkit visit:

The new Apprenticeship Levy will begin in April 2017, employers with a wage bill of over £3m will have to contribute. Take a look at unionlearn's frequently asked questions page to find out more about how the levy will work: 
NEC working in partnership with Unionlearn

NEC has been delivering flexible distance learning courses for more than 50 years and is proud to have a long standing history of working closely with Unionlearn. 

And from the NEC through the partnership: "In 2016, their 10th anniversary, we are delighted to offer free self-study taster courses exclusively to union members. If you want to learn something new, or perhaps want to see if distance learning is for you, you can find them on our dedicated unionlearn website.

There’s a range of subjects to choose from, including critical thinking, children’s growth and development and climate change. If you like what you see and want to enrol on a full course, don’t forget to ask for your 10% discount as a union member."

Supporting Learners at Mid-life Mini Guides
Unionlearn has recently launched four mini guides to help support learners at mid-life.  The guides have been developed to help reps signpost people to further information and support on a range of topics: health and well-being, financial planning and pensions, helping carers and mental health.  Each guide contains information about the topic, tips for supporting people in the workplace, useful resources and where you can find expert help.

To access the mini guide visit the unionlearn website:

Supporting Mid-life Development research

This September unionlearn is carrying out some important research on Supporting Mid-life Development reviews and older workers activities. From our initial evaluation of the Mid-life Career review project we know that the reviews can make an enormous difference to individuals' lives and we hope that this research will gather useful information to help people reflect on their transferable skills, plan for their future and enhance the union support offer.

The survey asks for your views and experiences and unionlearn would like to know:
  • About your experiences so far?
  • What resources did you find useful?
  • What difficulties (if any) have you have faced?
  • How best to improve the union offer and support now and in the future?
The results will be anonymous and will make an important contribution to union’s Mid-life and Older workers support agenda.

The survey will be widely publicised on unionlearn’s social media platforms. To ensure you received a link to the survey, please register on the unionlearn website
Alternatively, please contact Jane Warwick T: 0207 467 1265 E:

The union learning Climbing Frame Feedback Survey 2016
Take part in the Climbing Frame Feedback Survey by Friday 30th September for a chance to win a Kindle!

The union learning Climbing Frame is the website for ULRs, and others that work with learners, to support them in their role.  Every year we carry out a Climbing Frame Feedback Survey to hear from  site users and we are keen to find out what you like, what you don't like and any suggestions you have to help make the website even more valuable to union reps.

Whether you are an experienced Climbing Frame user or are new to the website we really value your thoughts.

Please complete the survey by Friday 30th September 2016 for a chance to be entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle.  The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email.  Access the survey here:

If you haven't already registered on the Climbing Frame visit: 

You can download the free Climbing Frame app from Google Play or the Apple Store
Maths Workout
Unionlearn is launching an exciting new maths campaign later this week - Maths Workout - aimed at supporting learners in workplaces to develop maths skills for both personal and work life. The Maths Workout campaign will raise awareness and promote maths learning opportunities, encouraging unions and Union Learning Reps to make use of unionlearn’s Use-It initial assessment tools and Working with Figures eNote in the build up to a Maths Learning Week, starting Monday 10th October.
Unionlearn will also be promoting Citizen Maths and the National Numeracy Challenge as ways to improve people’s confidence and skills when working with numbers.
Kirsi Kekki, unionlearn policy officer said:
‘Unionlearn wants to create a bit of buzz about maths this autumn by inviting people to check their maths fitness levels with the Use-It assessment.
Maths is everywhere, whether  at work, home, college or enjoying leisure time. Just like our bodies need a bit of exercise, our brains deserve a bit of maths exercise too. Use-It provides an opportunity to do this through a website and without any time pressure.’

Keep in touch with the campaign via and on social media too #ULMathsWorkout
And enter the Maths Workout Photo Competition for a chance to win a Tablet – get snapping and see how to take part at
Union Learning Fund Prosptecus 

The prospectus for the 2017/18 round of Union Learning Fund (ULF) is available now at  

The ULF was established in 1998 to promote activity by trade unions in support of the objective of creating a learning society. Its primary aim was to develop the capacity of trade unions and Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) to work with employers, employees and learning providers to encourage greater take up of learning in the workplace. The scope of the ULF has gradually broadened over the last 15 years as union capacity has grown and government strategic objectives have changed and unions have been encouraged to work on improving access to work and to work in the community.
Learn with University of Wolverhampton
The University of Wolverhampton is working in partnership with TUC unionlearn to create new learning opportunities for union members to develop their careers. For more information, including details of a 10% Unionlearn discount available, visit: 

eNotes are a great resource to help union reps keep up to date on key workplace issues. Each eNote is a self-contained module that contains a mixture of text, video and quizzes. They last between 20 and 45 minutes and can be returned to as many times as you like. Register to use eNotes at

New eNotes are being added all the time, eNotes on Mental Health and Working with Figures will be available soon.

The Working with Figures eNote will help reps feel more confident about using basic calculations for union work. Learners can work-out everyday calculations and answer simple maths questions using the on-screen calculator.
By the end of the eNote learners will be able to:
  • use a calculator to add up, subtract, multiply and divide
  • describe the logic of basic calculations within familiar contexts
  • calculate a basic ratio, average, fraction and percentage
  • know where to go for further practice and to develop numeracy skills


Unionlearn Regional Learning and Skills events:

Midlands - Thursday 15th September 2016 - BVSC, The Centre for Voluntary Action, Birmingham.
South East - Monday 26th September 2016 - Congress House, London.
South West - Tuesday 27th September 2016 - @Bristol, Bristol.
Yorkshire and the Humber - Wednesday 5th October 2016 - St. Georges Centre, Leeds.
Northern - Wednesday 12th October 2016 - Mercure Newcastle County Hotel, Newcastle.
North West - Thursday 10th November 2016 - Manchester College, Manchester.

To register to attend one of these free events visit:

If you have any events or information you would like to promote in future issues of Supporting Learners News and/or on the union learning Climbing Frame website please email Andy Moss

Union learning stories

Read some of the latest stories on the unionlearn website:

Raising skills part of solving poverty
UNISON course aims to raise young black voices
Unionlearn highlights great GCSE results for young people and adult learners

New stories are added all the time to the unionlearn website - and you can click on the button below to register as a site member too.
Register on the unionlearn website
Register on the TUC Education website
Register on the union learning Climbing Frame website

Stay connected with unionlearn

Copyright © 2016 TUC unionlearn, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences