Promoting learning in the workplace

View this email in your browser
Issue 3, December 2014


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. 

Union Learning Survey

Encouraging learning is an important activity for trades unions. In 2013, unions enabled 220,000 people to take part in a wide variety of learning programmes. 

The University of Exeter has been commissioned by nine unions to conduct a survey exploring the impact that union learning has on the lives of union members.

To do this we need your help. We need you to take five minutes to tell us about your union learning: to reflect on your motivations for learning, the skills you gained and the impact that acquiring these skills has had on your life. 

The quickest way to do this is online by clicking here to complete the questionnaire.  If you are unable to complete the survey online please click here to request a paper version of the questionnaire.  For more information about the survey please contact Ben Neild:



The Open University offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world.  These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

Here are just a few of the free FutureLearn courses taking place in early 2015:

Managing My Money: Gain the skills to manage your personal finances: managing budgets, debts, investments, pensions and insurance.  The course starts on the 5th of January 2015 and is run by The Open University.

Managing People: Engaging your workforce: Learn how to understand and get the most out of people in the workplace. The course starts on the 12th of January 2015 and is run by the University of Reading.

How to succeed at: Writing Applications:  This course will help you produce a perfect CV, application and online profile when applying for a job or a course.  The course starts on the 9th of February 2015 and is run by the University of Sheffield.

For more information about FutureLearn, visit:


NEW Supporting Mid-life Development Resources

The wealth of supporting mid-life development resources continues to grow.  This month has seen the introduction of a new case study which outlines a ULRs journey following his mid-life development review and a recording sheet to accompany the Value My Skills card activity.  The recording sheet can be used as a template to record the outcome of the card activity and offer something tangible for the individuals to take away with them. 

To access these and the many other useful resources please visit the Supporting Mid-life Development Learning Theme and resources section on the union learning Climbing Frame website.

Unionlearn Publications

Unionlearn has developed a number of useful publications to help support learners in the workplace.  These include 'Supporting Learners Guides', 'Maths postcards', a 'Reaching Communities Toolkit', a guide to 'Delivering better learning agreements' and a booklet entitled 'Everything you need to know about functional skills', to name just a few. 

To order copies of unionlearn publications including postcards, posters and leaflets please email:

Unionlearn regularly promote learning resources, initiatives and events on Facebook so be sure to 'Like' us when you get a chance.  You can also follow us on Twitter: @unionlearn.

Help motivate learners wherever you are
Here is a selection of applications (apps) which you might find useful when supporting learners.  They are all free, suitable for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from Google Play for Android users and from the Apple Store for Apple customers.

The union learning Climbing Frame App
The union learning Climbing Frame is the website for union learning reps to help them support learners and promote learning in the workplace.  The Climbing Frame is now available as a free app for when you’re on the move or meeting a learner away from your PC.  You can use the app to gather up to date learning information, record basic learner details, track learner progress and create your own notes.

Download from Google Play
Download from the Apple Store

The National Careers Service App
The ‘Career Advice’ app from the National Careers Service makes it easier for you to access careers advice and make informed decisions on learning, training and work opportunities.  The Career Advice app includes an interactive careers toolkit to help you to develop a CV, search for work and prepare for an interview. There are also audio top tips, a job search tool, learners' stories, job profiles and feature articles.

Download from Google Play
Download from the Apple Store
Prospect Apprenticeships App
The union Prospect have developed an app that gives you information and guidance on everything about apprenticeships, from finding out more about a particular role to applying for a job, minimum rates of pay to what should be covered in your apprenticeship contract.  You can search for latest jobs and the app also includes a checklist of all the issues to consider if you are thinking about becoming an apprentice.

Download from Google Play
Download from the Apple Store
Maths Everywhere App
Maths Everywhere was created as part of a Maths4Us initiative to boost maths skills.  The ‘Everyday Tools’ section provides quick answers to common problems like splitting a bill, childcare costs and converting currencies.  Learn how to do calculations for yourself with step by step explanations in the ‘How to work it out’ section and make use of the ‘Have a go’ section to test yourself when you feel ready, you can even earn badges and share your results online.

Download from Google Play
Download from the Apple Store

A number of unions have also developed their own apps, please contact your union to find out if they have one.  Have an Appy Christmas :-) !


Match Up!

The Match Up! progression card game, originally devised by Linking London familiarises learners, and those interested in finding out more about higher education generally, with the wide range of qualifications and their equivalent level that are delivered in further education and higher education institutions.  The card game shows learners and advisers that there are a range of pathways or routes into and through higher education.  Teachers and support staff, learners and advisers, including union learning reps, have used the game as a refresher or icebreaker in group and one to one sessions or as the basis for a whole workshop.

To order a pack of the Match Up! cards or to find out more information please email Yusuf Dadabhoy:

In early 2015 look out for a new eNote on 'Supporting Learners into Higher Learning'.


National Apprenticeship Service website

The website now automatically redirects to the GOV.UK website.  A number of changes have been made following the transfer but certain tools are still available including information on finding a training organisation, the employer online enquiry form, the web services request form and the apprentice vacancy live feed.  For more information please email the Skills Funding Agency: 


Supporting Mid-life Development and the Climbing Frame Bite-Size Briefing, London: 22 January 2015, for more information please email:

Midlands  ULR Forums are taking place in:
Birmingham: 27 January 2015
Nottingham: 28 January 2015

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:

from unionlearn

Wishing you a wonderful 2015!


Image: Some of unionlearn's National Team sporting their Christmas jumpers on Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save the Children.

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. 

Copyright © 2014 TUC unionlearn, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences