Recognising the difference that learning makes

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Issue 11, March 2016


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. 
English and maths learning resources

Unionlearn has introduced a handy new online toolkit to help trade unions support English and maths learners.  The aim of the guide is to signpost to a wide range of tools and resources unions have found useful in their day-to-day literacy and numeracy learner support. 

The toolkit offers a wide range of ideas for materials to engage workplace learners or to help learners working towards English, maths and functional skills qualifications.

Union Learning Reps (ULRs), union project workers, tutors and learning centres can use the toolkit to explore what others have found helpful.

The online toolkit is hosted on the unionlearn website: and can also be found on the union learning Climbing Frame website.
World Book Night 2016

World Book Night is the annual celebration of reading and books which takes place on the 23rd of April.  2016 will be the sixth World Book Night celebration. 

World Book Night is run by the Reading Agency.  It includes hundreds of events from small community gatherings to author readings in libraries that celebrate and share reading with the aim of inspiring more people to become regular readers.

15 books are being launched as part of the campaign (see the image below) and this year the books include ‘I Can’t Begin to Tell You’ by Elizabeth Buchan, ‘Someone Else’s Skin’ by Sarah Hilary and ‘Reasons to Stay Alive; by Matt Haig.

For more information visit the World Book Night website: If you a running an event as part of World Book Night please let unionlearn know by emailing Keith Hatch:
Introducing the Voluntary Sector Course

The Open University has recently launched a new free Badged Open Course (BOC) entitled ‘Introducing the voluntary sector’. 

The 8-week course will guide you through some of the distinctive features and values of the voluntary sector, how organisations are funded and involve volunteers and other ‘stakeholders’ in their work. It will also provide you with knowledge and skills you can apply to your own work or volunteering as well as your everyday life.

At the end of the course you will receive an Open University digital badge and you can also download a Statement of Participation.  For more information visit:
Learning Rep Spring 2016
If you haven’t already take a look at the Spring edition of the Learning Rep e-magazine.  In this issue hear from the new unionlearn Director, Liz Rees, find out about this year’s new Quick Reads books and get information on activities from a range of union learning projects.

Check out this and other publications on the unionlearn website:
Union Finder updated on the TUC website

The union finder tool on the TUC website has recently undergone revamp, making it easier for users to find the right trade union for their job. They are now taken through several steps which explain recognition agreements and helps them to quickly identify the unions that represent their job, sector or role through a more refined search.  To help a colleague find a union, visit the TUC website:
Coming soon from unionlearn...

In the next edition of Supporting Learners News you can find out about some new resources which unionlearn are currently developing including Supporting Mid-life Development Mini Guides, new eNotes with TUC Education including one on Mental Health and a new guide and Learning Theme on the Climbing Frame website on Youth Employment.
National Apprenticeship Week 2016

This week is National Apprenticeship Week which is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service (part of the Skills Funding Agency).  It is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

The theme for this year is “An apprenticeship can take you anywhere”, with a particular focus on higher skills to show how young people, entrepreneurs and businesses can “rise to the top” through traineeships and apprenticeships.

You can find out more information about Apprenticeships from the unionlearn website and information about Apprenticeship Week from the website.
Climbing Frame Feedback Survey Results
Every year unionlearn carries out a Climbing Frame Feedback survey to obtain ideas and suggestions from users of the Climbing Frame website. Changes and improvements are then made to the site with the overall aim of supporting union reps to carry out their role.

Thank you to those who completed the 2015 survey.  The results are in and full details and how we plan to respond can be found on the unionlearn website.  Overall feedback was very positive and useful suggestions for additions to the website were made and will be implemented.

To register on the union learning Climbing Frame visit:

The Climbing Frame 2016 Feedback Survey is now available and can be found here:
Festival of Learning 2016

This year’s Festival of Learning (previously Adult Learners’ Week) will take place from the 1 May to 30 June 2016.  Festival of Learning is the biggest national celebration of lifelong learning in England.  Hundreds of organisations across the country will hold events that aim to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to discover how learning can change their lives.

A new Festival of Learning website is currently being developed and will go live soon.  The website will include a Festival of Learning national events calendar and online resources.  You can sign up to receive Festival of Learning 2016 news and for more information visit the Learning and Work Institute website.

Please let unionlearn know of any Festival of Learning events you are planning, we can help you promote them and write a case study on the event/s.  Please email Keith Hatch:

For information about Adult Learners’ Week in Wales which will take place on the 25 June – 1 July 2016, please visit the Learning and Work Institute Cymru website.
Learning at Work Week 2016

This year's Learning at Work Week which is organised by Campaign for Learning will take place from the 16th to the 22nd of May.  It aims to put the spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development.  

The theme for this Learning at Work Week is 'connect' and is all about making connections.  It is a great opportunity to make learning more visible in your workplace.  You can register to receive the Campaign for Learning newsletter and can also register any upcoming events on their website.  If you have any Learning at Work Week events planned please let unionlearn know and we can promote them, please email Keith Hatch:

For more information about Learning at Work Week visit:
Upcoming FutureLearn Courses

Thinking about maybe doing a course after Easter?  Here are some free courses launching soon on the FutureLearn website:
Get started with online learning,
starting 4 April 2016.
Managing My Financial Journey,
starting 25 April 2016
The Power of Social Media,
starting 25 April 2016
Understanding Anxiety, Depression and CBT, starting 9 May 2016
Dementia: Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour, starting 9 May 2016.

For the full list of new and upcoming
FutureLearn courses visit:
Unionlearn Facebook Page

If you haven't already please visit and 'like' the unionlearn Facebook page for information about new resources, case studies, events, courses, news and learning opportunities.  Visit:


Yorkshire & the Humber Regional unionlearn Conference, 18th March 2016, Rotherham.  
For more information and to register to attend visit:

To keep up to date and to register to attend unionlearn 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 Louisa Smith:
Save the date
The unionlearn 10th Annual Conference is taking place in London on 
Monday 4th July 2016
More information will be available in the next issue of Supporting Learners News.

Stay connected with unionlearn
Sign up to unionlearn to keep up to date with the latest union learning developments, events, publications and join in the conversation. 

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