Celebrating 10 years of unionlearn
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Issue 13, July 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. 

In this bumper edition we are celebrating 10 years of unionlearn and are launching a number of new publications we hope you'll find useful.
Unionlearn Annual Conference 2016
Unionlearn's 10th annual conference took place in London on Monday the 4th of July.  Over 350 delegates filled Congress Hall and got the chance to hear from inspirational speakers including Tommy Dawkins, GMB Organiser, Dreda Say Mitchell, Author, Simon Kirby, Chief Executive HS2 and Francesca Martinez, Comedian.

The event provided delegates with the opportunity to meet our partners on various exhibition stands, to obtain copies of new resources, to congratulate ULR award winners, to attend two of a selection of workshops and to network with reps and others involved in learning.

For information and images from the conference check out the unionlearn Facebook and Twitter page:

If you attended the conference please let us know what you thought of it by completing this short survey:
Getting active! Booklet
The 'Getting active!' booklet has been produced as part of the Supporting Mid-life Development work that unionlearn has been involved in.  The booklet contains a number of activities which reps can make use of in the workplace, for example icebreakers, quizzes, checklists and card-sort activities.  The booklet also contains ideas of group and individual activities, case studies and scenarios and a number of useful resources.

To download the booklet visit:
Unionlearn Annual Report 2016
The unionlearn Annual Report is now available to view and download.  It contains information on performance and achievements from the main departments of unionlearn - the Union Learning Fund (ULF), TUC Education, the Strategy Team and the Service Team.  

Information is included on publications which have been launched in the past year and also details of some of the key partners unionlearn has been working with on learning and skills projects.

To view and download the Annual Report visit:
Workplace Book Club
Unionlearn has launched a search to find some of the best books for a Workplace Book Club.  Over the last few weeks unionlearn staff have been talking with colleagues and scouring their bookshelves to come up with a long list of over 20 books that ULRs could use to promote reading at Workplace Book Clubs.  These are books with a connection to workplaces or working life.

Over the summer union members will have a chance to vote for their favourite, and the Top Ten will be announced to coincide with unionlearn's exciting new English and maths campaign in the autumn.  For more information visit:
Apprenticeships Toolkit
The Apprenticeships Toolkit is a resource 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 range of topics related to apprenticeships.  They also highlight the key elements of a good quality apprenticeship.  

The toolkit is intended to be used as a reference and information resource for reps.  There are a number of ongoing apprenticeship reforms and the toolkit covers some of these developments.
Factsheets can be taken out of the toolkit and given to union representatives and employers if information on a specific topic is needed.

For more information and to order a copy of the toolkit visit:
Youth Employment Guide: For Union Representatives
Unionlearn's new Youth Employment Guide: For Union Representatives was launched at the unionlearn annual conference.  The guide contains information about what Traineeships and Apprenticeships are, the benefits of supporting the union route, route ways in to Traineeships and Apprenticeships, details about new developments and a wide range of useful resources.

There is also a new Youth Employment Learning Theme on the union learning Climbing Frame website.

To download the new guide visit:
The union learning Climbing Frame
Feedback Survey 2016

Take part in the Climbing Frame Feedback Survey 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 users of the website and see whether there are any opportunities for unionlearn to make changes to the website.

This year 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 ULRs.  Whether you are an experienced Climbing Frame user or are new to the site we really value your opinion and want to know what you think.

Please complete the survey by Friday the 26th of August 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
Changing lives through learning: The first 10 years
To mark ten years of unionlearn a celebratory impact booklet has been produced.  It looks at a decade of achievement and includes statistics for example on the number of learners supported each year, training of Union Learning Reps (ULRs) and return on investment. The booklet includes a variety of case studies showing how learners have progressed thanks to union learning and also includes a range of quotes from learners, partners and other well-wishers.

To download or order a copy of the booklet visit:
Unionlearn Regional Learning and Skills Events
In the autumn unionlearn are holding six regional Learning and Skills events for union representatives, project workers, employers and 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 the register for one of these free events visit:
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:
PEARL (Part time education for adults returning to learning)
 A new website and free online courses to support adult learners will be available very soon.  The Social Partnerships Network (SPN) is made of 10 partners, including The Open University, unionlearn and UNISON, and we are working together to support and promote workplace and lifelong learning. Together we have developed some new online resources for those looking to move up in their career, or considering a change of direction.
The PEARL website (Part-Time Education for Adults Returning to Learn) will provide a point of reference for those looking for progression and study opportunities, from short, free, online courses through to higher level learning.
There will also be six new, free, online courses:
• Introducing practical healthcare
• Supporting children’s development
• Caring for adults
• Starting your small business
• Taking part in the voluntary sector
• Planning a better future
All will be available by September 2016.  Each course will take about 15 hours to complete and learners will be able to collect online badges, which can be shared with employers and displayed on social media sites.
To register your interest or if you have any questions please email:
New NHS Careers Resources

NHS Health Education England have recently updated their range of careers booklets, including guides on careers in midwifery, medicine, nursing and working for the ambulance service.  These useful booklets contain information about the different career types, how you can get started, next steps, real life stories and Frequently Asked Questions.

On their website you can also access a booklet 'A career for you in health' which provides a snapshot of about 60 health careers with information about how you can find out more.

Access the health careers literature from the Health Education England Careers website:
Get Ahead in Your Career Leaflet
The University of Wolverhampton have produced a leaflet to promote the university/unionlearn partnership entitled 'Get Ahead in Your Career'.  The leaflet provides information about the University of Wolverhampton, details about the 10% discount for union members, types of qualification and programmes available and discount eligibility.  For more information about the partnership visit: 
To order copies of the leaflet please contact Louisa Smith:
Our 10 Years
As unionlearn is celebrating a decade of achievement we thought it would be an opportunity to remind you of some of the many resources that we have available to you to help support learners in the workplace.  

You can obtain a wealth of information including case studies, news stories and blogs from the unionlearn website.  The Climbing Frame website is still proving popular with reps to find out detailed information on learning topics as well as being able to record information when you meet with learners.  The TUC Education website is the place to access free eNotes (electronic briefings for reps) as well as being able to obtain information on the wide range of online and classroom based courses.

As you can see from this and other editions of Supporting Learners News unionlearn has developed a variety of useful publications. Along with many other resources be sure to check out the Learning Rep e-magazine, the Value My Skills Cards, the Quick Maths Menus and the Match Up! Cards.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone that has helped make unionlearn the success that it is today, especially all the Union Learning Reps that really make a difference in the workplace.  Here's to the next 10 years!


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 Louisa Smith:
Register on the unionlearn website
Register on the TUC Education website
Register on the union learning Climbing Frame website

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