Making learning happen

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Issue 6, May 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.

Learning at Work Week 2015

This week is Learning at Work Week which is organised by Campaign for Learning.  It aims to put the spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development. The theme for this Learning at Work Week is 'Shaping our Future' which focuses on the vital role of learning and development in building resilient, forward thinking and creative workplaces.

Union Learning Reps (ULRs) across the country are organising activities in the workplace and unionlearn are keen to promote them.  We have heard of jewellery making, language taster sessions, ukulele classes and many more taking place this week.  Please let us know about your Learning at Work Week activities by contacting Yusuf Dadabhoy:

A range of free resources, webinars and activity ideas can be found on the Learning at Work Week website. Unionlearn have also produced a list of free resources which you can make use of throughout the Festival of Learning which takes place from the 1st May until the 30th June.

National Numeracy Challenge

Unionlearn has teamed up with National Numeracy to make everyday maths part of Festival of Learning celebrations. As a kick off for making maths approachable National Numeracy has put together a set of ideas and workplace activities for union learning reps (ULRs). 

This is an opportunity to encourage colleagues at work to take the Numeracy Challenge online or make maths tasty with a cake sale.

The scale of activity can be big or small as long as it gets people to give a go on improving their everyday maths skills.  Tweet us in @unionlearn to share how your workplace is getting grips with everyday maths.
MOOCs (massive open online courses) are a way of learning online that offers the flexibility of distance learning, often have no entry requirements and are usually free.

They are studied online by large numbers of students.  They usually include video lectures, reading material, coursework and tests.  They are aimed at unlimited participation from anywhere in the world and make use of discussion forums to help students and tutors build an online community.

MOOCs providers have partnered with universities and cultural institutions from all over the world and offer a broad range of subjects.  FutureLearn is a leading provider of MOOCs from the UK and international providers include Coursera, EdX and Udacity.  You can also obtain information and access MOOCs from MOOC List.

More information about MOOCs can be found on the union learning Climbing Frame website.

TUC Education are currently working on producing a MOOC, find out more information here soon.
Making learning and meetings accessible to all: A guide for union reps and officers

Unionlearn in partnership with Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) produced this useful guide a few years ago for union reps to help them to ensure that everybody can participate in learning in the workplace. 

It provides information about supporting people who are deaf or partially hearing, blind or partially sighted, with dyslexia, with physical disabilities, with learning difficulties and those with mental health problems.  It includes a useful equality and diversity checklist for choosing a course and also information about making handouts and publicity related materials accessible to all.

You can download the booklet from the unionlearn and Climbing Frame websites or order a copy by emailing:

Unionlearn's Annual Conference 2015: The union skills advantage

Unionlearn's ninth annual conference will take place on Monday 6th July 2015 at Congress House in London, entitled ‘The union skills advantage’.  The event will focus on skills development through learning of individuals and communities, meeting the needs of a modern workforce, and the vital role of skills in a sustainable economic recovery. 

The conference will celebrate the work of unionlearn and the unions over the past year.  There will be a range of speakers, a selection of exhibitors, unionlearn Quality Awards will be presented, memorandums of understanding signed and a number of workshops will take place in the afternoon.

As in previous years it is set to be a popular, informative and exciting event.  If you haven't already, please register for the event today and for further information about the conference please contact Yusuf Dadabhoy:

New eNote on Migration

Trade unions stand up for the rights of all workers, no matter where they come from.  The new eNote from TUC Education identifies common misconceptions regarding migration, outlines the benefits that migrants bring to the workforce and country as a whole and shows why it is important to tackle employers who might exploit migrant and vulnerable workers.  It also provides information about the role unions play in promoting fair working conditions for all.

To access this and all the other TUC Education eNotes visit:
  Coming soon there will be an introduction to the Union Learning Rep role eNote.

(From left to right: Janet, Keith and Jurgita)
Welcome our new
Learning Campaign Support Officers

Unionlearn has three new Learning Campaign Support Officers (LCSOs).  Their role is to help promote the value of union learning.  This includes helping identify and publicise key skills issues, supporting wider engagement with media of all kinds to promote the value of learning and working with unions to share and disseminate good practice and success stories.

The LCSOs are responsible for the following regions:

North West and Northern: Janet Valentine:
South West and Southern and Eastern: Keith Hatch:
Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber: Jurgita Pranculyte:

Read Janet, Keith and Jurgita's blogs on the unionlearn website to find out more about them and their role and please contact them if you have any interesting learning news articles, blogs and case studies in your region.

Quick Maths Menus

Quick Maths Menus are sets of leaflets that look like takeaway menus but have easily digestible maths activities.  The leaflets have been designed for union learning reps to use and include information about the topic, activities, facts and tips.  There is also space to include ULR contact details. 

Quick Maths Menus have been produced on Payday Maths, Computer bytes, Energy, Managing time in work and life, Olympic legacy and Medicines and maths.  Download the leaflets from the unionlearn website or order a set by emailing:

Learning Rep Summer 2015

Don't miss the summer edition of unionlearn's Learning Rep e-magazine.  In this issue hear about activities that took place as part of National Apprenticeship Week, be inspired by maths initiatives, hear from Unite's Head of Lifelong Learning Kenny Barron and hear success stories from ULRs from a number of different unions.


Unionlearn Annual Conference 2015, 6th July 2015, London. Register today!

Midlands ULR Forums are taking place in:

Coventry, 16th June 2015
Stoke-on-Trent, 17th June 2015
Leicester, 18th June 2015
Shrewsbury, 23rd June 2015
Birmingham, 25th June 2015
Northampton, 2nd July 2015
Derby, 7th July 2015
Lincoln, 8th July 2015
Nottingham, 9th July 2015
For more information about these forums please contact Surjit Chohan:

North West ULR Forums are taking place in:

Manchester, 4th September 2015
Liverpool, 18th March 2016
More information will be available soon.

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:

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