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Issue 10, January 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. 

New Partnership with the University of Wolverhampton

The University of Wolverhampton has partnered with unionlearn to offer union members a 10% discount on course fees.

The three year partnership agreement means that union members will have the opportunity to study discounted part-time Certificate, Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses and high-level apprenticeships as well as take advantage of professional development courses.

For more information visit the unionlearn website:

For more details about the discount visit the University of Wolverhampton website:

Information about the University of Wolverhampton can be viewed at:  For information about their upcoming Open Day on the 6th of February 2016 visit:

Supporting Learners National Event
Towards the end of 2015 unionlearn ran a number of Supporting Learners events across the country.  The events proved very popular and were an opportunity for unionlearn to update reps on new Supporting Learners information, resources and activity ideas.  They also provided a chance for ULRs to share ideas and best practice.

On Monday the 8th of February unionlearn is holding another  Supporting Learners Development Day event, this time in London. 

Places are limited but if you would like to attend and haven't already registered visit:
 or for further information please contact Louisa Smith:

For information about this and other unionlearn events visit:

Be Online 2016

Be Online the digital inclusion campaign is taking place across the UK from 15 - 28 February 2016.  It will see a number of UK Online centres and other organisations hold events in community venues across the country.  The aim is to reach out to those in the community without digital skills or who want a bit more confidence using technology and help them start gaining the skills they need to make the most of an online life.

For more information and to get involved in the Be Online campaign visit the UK Online website:

Quick Reads 2016

The new selection of Galaxy Quick Reads will be published on the 4th of February 2016.  Each short book is written by a best-selling author, costs just £1, and can be found in bookshops, supermarkets and online, or can be borrowed from libraries across the country.

Over the years many reps have made use of Quick Reads in the workplace as part of book clubs or book swaps, to carry out competitions such as the Six Book Challenge (which is now called Reading Ahead) and help learners get back into reading.

This year there a number of interesting reads, these are the books that are available:

  • The Anniversary: Ten tempting stories from ten bestselling authors, edited by Veronica Henry (authors include: Jenny Colgan and Matt Haig)
  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb (abridged version)
  • Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves
  • A Baby at the beach Café by Lucy Diamond
  • The Double Clue and other Hercule Poirot stories by Agatha Christie, introduced by Sophie Hannah and John Curran.
  • On the Rock by Andy McNab
For more information about Quick Reads visit:
World Book Day is taking place on Thursday the 3rd of March 2016 and is an opportunity to help generate interest in reading in the workplace.  For more information visit:

If you have been  making use of Quick Reads and/or plan on holding an event for World Book Day please let unionlearn know, email: and we can produce a case study and promote your event.
Don't miss the Spring edition of the Learning Rep e-magazine. Available early February 2016.  The issue will include an article from Liz Rees, the new Director of unionlearn.  Register on the unionlearn website to receive it in your mailbox.
Mental health and the workplace
TUC Education has developed a new booklet entitled 'Mental health and the workplace'.  The workbook helps reps to develop an understanding of mental health and common mental health problems.  It highlights the role of union reps in supporting and representing members with mental health problems, provides information on the law and mental health in the workplace and identifies good practice around workplace policies on mental health.
The booklet can be downloaded from the unionlearn website:  
You can also find the booklet and information on mental health in the 'Health and well-being in the workplace' Learning Theme on the union learning Climbing Frame website.

Unionlearn are running a Learning, Health and Well-being conference on the 26th of February in London for more information and to register for this event visit the unionlearn website: or contact Jane Warwick for more information:

Work and well-being: A trade union resource

The TUC has recently updated the booklet entitled 'Work and well-being: A trade union resource'.  The booklet contains useful information about well-being including sections on 'work and health', 'using the workplace to deal with health issues' and 'promoting health through work.  Specific well-being issues are covered including smoking, obesity, dementia, the menopause and stress.  A number of useful resources and websites are included along with a checklist for union reps.

The booklet can be found on the unionlearn website, visit:

Raising the Quality of Apprenticeships

On Wednesday the 3rd of February 2016 unionlearn are holding an event in Bristol entitled 'Raising the Quality of Apprenticeships'.  The event will discuss how Trade Unions, employers and other key stakeholders can work together to enable unions to give improved help and support to Trainees/Apprentices in the workplace.  For more information and to register to attend this free event visit: 
or for more information contact Rob Garrett:

This year National Apprenticeship Week will take place from the 14 - 18 of March 2016 and the theme for this year's event is 'rising to the top'.

For information about apprenticeships visit the unionlearn website:

Talk about your job to inspire young people in state schools
Inspiring the Future connects state schools and colleges with employers and people from the world of work.  Volunteers – who can be Apprentices to CEOs, Archaeologists to Zoologists - pledge one hour a year to volunteer in a state school or college, near where they live or work, to talk face to face with young people about their job and career route. In addition, volunteers can also select areas of expertise that might be of interest to students such as; apprenticeships, enterprise, maths, financial literacy, languages, engineering and technology.

Inspiring the Future is run by national education charity Education & Employers and is free to all state schools, both primary and secondary, and employers/volunteers from all jobs, professions and sectors. Schools and volunteers can register to take part here:
Inspiring the Future also runs the Inspiring Women campaign to break down job gender stereotypes and provide real life role models to girls in school, for more information see:
Keep up to date with unionlearn
Make sure you keep up to date with information from unionlearn.  We regularly post news articles, case studies and blogs on our interactive website.

For news stories visit:

For case studies visit:

For blogs visit:

Sign up to receive email alerts which include information among other things about courses, learning opportunities, news, upcoming events and new resources.  


Unionlearn have a number of events coming up, for more information and to register for any of the events below visit:

ULR Development Day - Northamptonshire: Thursday 28th January 2016
ULR Development Day - Leicestershire: Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Raising the Quality of Apprenticeships - Bristol: Wednesday 3rd February 2016
ULR Development Day - Birmingham: Thursday 4th February 2016
Supporting Learners Development Day - London: Monday 8th February 2016
ULR Development Day - Stoke: Monday 8th February 2016
ULR Development Day - Shrewsbury: Thursday 11th February 2016
North West Regional Conference - Southport: Friday 12th February 2016
ULR Development Day - Nottinghamshire: Tuesday 23rd February 2016
ULR Development Day - Derbyshire: Thursday 25th February 2016
Learning, Health & Well-being conference - London: Friday 26th February 2016

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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