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Working for

learners
a handbook for unions and their
union learning representatives
Foreword <<

Learning and skills are key to an


employee’s progression at work and
better life chances. Arrangements
and organisation at the workplace
will determine whether union
members access learning or not.
Learning can also play an important
part in strengthening union
organisation and increasing
membership. That is why unions are
putting learning and skills high up
their agenda.

Over 18,000 union learning representatives (ULRs) are doing


much to build a learning culture at work. They have the
confidence of members, the recognition of employers and the
support of unions. They have also had the training to carry out
their many roles.

They now have statutory recognition on the same basis as other


union reps. In union recognised workplaces ULRs, like union
representatives as a whole, have the right to paid time off to
train and to carry out their role.

A major reason for the TUC establishing unionlearn was to


provide greater support to unions and their ULRs in carrying out
their role. This handbook is one of the resources unionlearn has
designed to help unions and their ULRs. It aims to help them
over day-to-day issues. For more detailed information and
advice log into the unionlearn website www.unionlearn.org.uk.

I wish you well in your role.

Liz Smith
Director, unionlearn

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This handbook has been published through the TUC’s


unionlearn High Road project. The project is part of a
community programme called Equal – a European
Social Fund initiative which tests and promotes new
means of combating all forms of discrimination and
inequality in the labour market. The GB Equal Support
Unit is managed by ECOTEC.

“We will increase workers' life chances and


strengthen their voice at the workplace
through high quality union learning.”

Unionlearn mission statement

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SECTION 1 SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 6 SECTION 7 SECTION 8

Learning and
organising
Section 1
Jess Hurd/www.reportdigital.co.uk
Learning and organising <<

Opportunities and challenges


People have different reasons for becoming a ULR. Many are
already union representatives who are interested in the learning
agenda and wish to promote the benefits amongst the
membership and establish a partnership with their employer.
Others are trade union members who have come back into
learning themselves and want to promote its value to their
colleagues. Two thirds of ULRs hold another union post. This
might be a shop steward, branch officer, health and safety rep or
equality rep. Whatever the reason for taking on the role, the vast
majority of ULRs have found it both challenging and rewarding.

“Fifty unions are now engaged in what I believe is the


biggest transformation since the growth of the shop
steward movement, a total of 18,000 trades union
learning representatives in workplaces all round the
country. Today your learning representatives are working
in 700 separate workplaces, and they are helping
100,000 of our fellow colleagues at work”
Gordon Brown, Prime Minister
TUC Congress 2007

Equality and diversity


There is a huge gap between the educational haves and have-
nots. The TUC and its unions seek to bridge the gap and provide
opportunities for those who have had least, especially those who
need to improve their Skills for Life (i.e. literacy, numeracy and
English language). ULRs can do much to help promote and deliver
fairer learning opportunities at the workplace.

Some groups of workers have extra difficulty accessing learning


through work – part-time, shift workers, home workers and
freelance workers for example. Others have jobs without a base
or obvious focus for learning activity – construction workers and
drivers, for example.

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>> Learning and organising

Unionlearn targets for 2010


22,000 union learning representatives will have been
trained and accredited.
250,000 learners annually to go through the union route.

As women workers overall are still poorly paid compared with


men, access to training – whether at basic or higher levels –
can open doors for them. Similarly black and Asian workers are
less likely to benefit from opportunities and gain promotion.
Workers with disabilities are already disadvantaged in the
workforce and difficulties associated with access to learning
can make things worse. There are many workers for whom
English is a second language.

Union learning reps recruited

ULRs 000s
ULRs,

ULRs now have many opportunities1:


❙ all ULRs in union recognised workplaces have a legal right to
paid time off to train and to carry out their duties
1. Early results from a unionlearn commissioned survey carried out by Nottingham University
Business School

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Learning and organising <<

❙ half have formal learning agreements setting out their


arrangements
❙ almost a half are in workplaces with a formal entitlement to
paid time off for learning for the members they represent
❙ over eight in ten ULRs have done the TUC initial training
course, the rest being trained by their unions
❙ eight out of ten have reasonable time off to undergo relevant
ULR training
❙ almost three-quarters feel that they have sufficient training to
carry out their role effectively
❙ more than two in five ULRs have a learning centre in their
workplace
❙ almost three-quarters can access a phone or the internet,
provided by their employer
❙ three-quarters of ULRs stated that union members were able
to discuss individual learning needs with them in normal
working time.

There are however some challenges for unions and their ULRs to
engage employers.

❙ Although 22 per cent of ULRs state that they spend over 5


hours a week during their paid working time on learning rep
activities, almost half are granted little or no time.
❙ 45 per cent of ULRs stated that managers did not involve
union representatives in decisions on training.
❙ Only just over a third of ULRs felt that managers valued their
activities.
❙ Whereas 10 per cent of ULRs meet managers at least once a
week to discuss training matters, 27 per cent had no contact
during the last 12 months.
❙ Around a quarter of union members that ULRs represent were
given no training by their employer.

The purpose of this handbook is to offer some practical


suggestions as to how these challenges can best be met.

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>> Learning and organising

Recruiting and organising


As well as increasing opportunities for individual members,
union learning renews union activism and strengthens union
voice. This in turn sustains learning activities. Thus there is a
need for the role of ULRs to be fully recognised by unions and
be part of their organisation at all levels; workplace, branch,
regional and national. A recent survey commissioned by the
TUC has shown that an increasing number of ULRs are part of
union organisation at the workplace2.

❙ Many unions recognise the role of ULRs in their rulebooks.


❙ Some unions have created ‘learning organiser’ posts at
regional and national levels.
❙ ULR training increasingly reflects recruitment and organising.
❙ The aim nationally of many unions is that ULRs should be fully
incorporated into local branch and workplace structures,
although often this is done informally.

Changing the union rules


The Communication Workers Union at its conference has
agreed new policy and rule changes to incorporate the
role of ULRs fully into the branch and regional structure.

“This recognises that ULRs are here to stay and gives


them parity of esteem with other representatives. Union
learning is an important part of the ‘CWU offer’ and is
helping us to engage with literally thousands of our
members and potential members every year in a really
positive way”.
Trish Lavelle, CWU Head of Education and Training

The survey revealed that union learning officers recognise the


importance of recruiting and organising workers around
learning. But union organising officers needed to have firm
evidence of the impact union learning has on organising and
how it fits with the collective bargaining agenda. Unionlearn has

2. Results of a union survey undertaken for the TUC by the Working Lives Research Institute

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Learning and organising <<

commissioned the Working Lives Research Institute to examine


how unions are measuring the impact of learning on their
organising strategies.

Teamwork at Tesco
Teamwork is behind the huge success of learning and
organising at the Tesco store in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
USDAW membership has been boosted by almost 100
per cent – some 450 employees. ULRs spoke to over
2000 people as part of an analysis of learning needs
across the store and in the process recruited a high
number of members.

“We have such a great team of mobilised and motivated


representatives and the branch secretary helps to co-
ordinate and support the activity of all representatives
including ULRs. The learning agenda presents a positive
view of trade unions to members and potential members
and for that reason is an incredible recruitment tool.”
Ed Leach, USDAW project worker

Profile of the union learning representative


On the face of it, union learning reps might look no different
from any other union activist. According to the TUC
commissioned survey of ULRs, over half are men (58 per cent)
and the average age is 48 years. But look a little deeper, and it
becomes clear that the profile has been changing.

The third of ULRs that have never held a union post before –
‘new activists’ – are more likely to be women and younger
than those that have. These trends mean that the ULR profile
is becoming diverse, more like the make up of the workforce
as a whole.

Seven out of ten ULRs work in the public sector. Over a half (58
per cent) of ULRs are located in workplaces of under 500.

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>> Learning and organising

Most ULR workplaces are highly unionised. Over a half of ULRs


work in workplaces with over 60 per cent union density –
almost a third in those with over 80 per cent density. In about
nine in ten of the workplaces, unions are recognised by the
employer for collective bargaining purposes.

The Rolls-Royce of ULRs


Patrick McIlvogue was TUC ULR of the Year in 2007. Patrick
stresses that union teamwork is behind the success of
learning at the Rolls-Royce Inchinnan plant near Glasgow.
He is the Unite–Amicus section convenor as well as the
ULR. Patrick chairs a weekly learning steering group, made
up of union and employer representatives, which has
developed a 12-month plan for delivering learning. Here
are just a few of the outcomes:

❙ a range of learning opportunities including European


Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), Spanish and pensions
❙ around a quarter of the 1,400 strong workforce has
signed up for courses – all in the space of a year
❙ a learning survey which showed that 10 per cent of the
250 respondents wanted help with literacy and numeracy
❙ an agreement to provide four one-to-one, two-hour
sessions to help signpost individuals to the best
provider of such courses
❙ talks with the Open University to consider how
employees can use their qualifications towards a degree.

A lifelong learner himself, Patrick McIlvogue is completing


his final year of a degree in trade union studies. His
message to fellow ULRs is: “Learning is part of union
business. Keep at it. Keep going. Learning reps hold the
high moral ground. Who better can argue the importance
of learning to the company and the individual?”

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Types of sectors where ULR members work

Types of jobs of members ULRs represent

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SECTION 3 SECTION 5 SECTION 6 SECTION 7 SECTION 8
SECTION 4
SECTION 2

Benefits of ULRs
Section 2
Mark Thompson
Benefits of ULRs <<

According to the Workplace Employment Relations Survey3,


employees are 15 per cent more likely to report receiving
training at a workplace with ULRs, recognition and a
representative structure that includes employee representatives.

“I pay tribute to the work of the 18,000 union learning


representatives. Someone’s best friend at work will often
be the most likely person to convince them that they
should have another go at training, and the union
learning representatives have been a success.”
John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation,
Universities and Skills

The employee case for ULRs in the workplace


The introduction of ULRs gives employees contact with
someone who:
❙ they know and who may have helped them in the past
❙ is completely independent, whose advice they can trust
❙ they know will treat everything they say in confidence
❙ can give advice in the familiar surroundings of the workplace
❙ can provide information about learning opportunities,
available both inside and outside of the workplace
❙ is properly trained and informed, capable of representing their
learning needs and interests with their employer
❙ is trained to work with providers of learning to shape the
opportunities to meet the needs of workplace learners
❙ provides up-to-date information about learning and skills
initiatives from Skills for Life to higher education.

ULRs are already working with management to:


❙ enable learners to access impartial information and advice on
their learning needs and options
❙ ensure that employees with literacy and numeracy needs
receive the encouragement and support required to improve
those skills
❙ help members access ESOL courses

3. Training, union recognition and collective bargaining: Findings from the 2004 Workplace
Employment Relations Survey. Stuart. M and Robinson. A. unionlearn research paper 4.

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>> Benefits of ULRs

❙ encourage the older workforce to take up ICT courses


❙ provide support to employees who may be reluctant to take
up new methods of learning such as that provided online
❙ access retraining for employees facing redeployment or
redundancy
❙ help run learning centres at the workplace.

Some employers are reluctant to give ULRs sufficient time off for
their roles. Employers will incur costs in terms of providing paid
time off for ULRs and unpaid time for employees to meet them.
Nevertheless, employers are likely to see benefits in the form of
increased productivity, lower staff turnover, increased job
satisfaction and higher added value products and services as a
result of a better trained workforce and improved industrial
relations.

The Government’s Regulatory Impact Assessment calculated


that any short-term loss of productivity that results from time off
is greatly outweighed by the added value to future productivity
of employees upskilled as a result of ULRs’ advice and support.

Increasing productivity at VT Shipbuilding,


Portsmouth
During 2002, the Confederation of Shipbuilding and
Engineering Unions (CSEU) formed a learning partnership
with VTS, the local Learning and Skills Council and
Eastleigh College. With the support of the Union Learning
Fund, a workplace learning centre was established to
offer numeracy, literacy and ICT courses. An adult
training agreement was also signed with the unions to
address expected skills shortages.

Ten ULRs completed the initial TUC Learning Rep course and
the additional Skills for Life module. They also completed an
Information, Advice and Guidance course. A learning
agreement was negotiated by the ULRs, which provided 50
per cent paid release for employees attending the learning
centre. The senior ULR, who was also the union convenor,

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Benefits of ULRs <<

ran the centre. The other ULRs supported union members


studying there.

One of the major objectives of the training was for team


leaders to delegate more responsible tasks to leading and
charge hands. This would give them better promotion
opportunities, with the team leaders being able to
concentrate on increasing productivity.

An external evaluation revealed training costs of


£109,000 but a saving of around £263,000, with a
return on investment of 140 per cent.

“Employees are eager to learn. Those who found it


difficult to read or write are better able to communicate,
having received their first formal qualification. The
learning centre has become a very important part of our
culture change programme for the future”
Paul Lester, VTS Chief Executive

Employer organisations have generally been supportive of the


work of ULRs.

“I’d like to pay tribute to those many union learning reps


who do great work up and down the land in helping their
colleagues to gain new skills and experiences”.
Richard Lambert, CBI Director-General
TUC Congress 2007

The benefits to organisations have also been recognised by the


professional organisation representing HR and training managers
– the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The employer case for ULRs in the workplace


❙ ULRs can be important allies in promoting the value of
learning and training.
❙ They are effective in generating ‘bottom up’ demand for
learning. Although their primary role is promoting

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>> Benefits of ULRs

employees’ needs, this can include providing support for


on-the-job learning and creating wider demand for work-
related training.
❙ ULRs have a significant role to play in engaging workers
who might otherwise be reluctant to discuss their
learning needs.
❙ ULRs are trained in their role and will have ongoing
opportunities for related learning.
❙ They are an inexpensive source of advice for
employers.
❙ ULRs will have the confidence of their membership and
the union involvement will give added reassurance to
employees.
❙ The union provides an additional source of
communication and information about learning
opportunities through its internal structures and
communication channels. This may be particularly
useful in reaching part-timers and shift workers.
❙ ULRs will encourage broader learning to meet
employees’ needs (as opposed to the training they
might normally receive that relates to their current job).
Source: Trade Union Learning Representatives: The Change Agenda.
CIPD (2004)

ULRs are doing much to boost the image and strengthen the
organisation of their union at the workplace. They can help
widen union membership across the board and in under-
represented groups such as migrant workers.

Recruiting and training migrant workers in


Southampton
There are about 30,000 Polish people living in
Southampton. That was the reason the GMB set up a
migrant workers branch, most of whose members are
Polish. The branch is very inclusive, with meetings open
to non-union members of the Polish community.

The GMB’s Migrant Project in the city has established a

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Benefits of ULRs <<

learning centre in a school building. It offers ESOL and on-


line ICT courses which are put on as a result of an
agreement between the union and Eastleigh College. The
learning centre is very community based and opens its
doors to workers’ families and friends. There are even
facilities to care for children when their parents attend the
centre for a learning assessment.

Learning and organising top tips

Value learning
Learning and organising are both important in their own right.
If members feel that learning is simply being used as a
recruitment tool, it will be less successful. Every workplace is
different, and in planning your learning project remember to
value learning for its own sake. Use the arguments on the
value of learning; see page 32.

Plan for growth


When planning your workplace learning project, remember to
think about how you can maximise its potential to strengthen
workplace organisation or attract new members.
❙ Identify sources of local or regional help, e.g. training. Contact
your union or regional TUC for information, help and advice.
❙ As you think about learning needs, also think about the key
challenges to union organisation in your workplace. How can
your learning project or activity help you meet those challenges?
❙ Develop a learning plan or strategy that reflects what
members want, not just what management wants.
❙ On multi-union sites, aim to have an agreed learning strategy
with other unions.

Make your learning initiatives sustainable – this will mean new


members are more likely to stay in the union.

Map your membership


When developing your workplace learning project you will need to
find out the specific learning needs and issues of your members or

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>> Benefits of ULRs

potential members. Consider doing a learning needs survey.


Think about the particular needs of new groups or members such
as young, women, graduate, ethnic minority, contract, agency,
shift or casual workers. Mapping these needs and issues – which
will vary within and between workplaces – will give you a better
understanding of the issues that really matter to your members.
This process will raise the profile of your union.

Use your mapping exercise to identify areas of strength and


weakness for union organisation in your workplace. Where are
your members/non-members? Are men more likely to join the
union than women (or vice versa)? Are some departments or
sections better organised than others, and if so why?

Mainstream learning
Union learning reps can help ensure workplace learning is both
union-led and sustainable – and they can also make a massive
difference to union organisation in a workplace. Maximise the
impact of ULRs by thinking about how best they can work
alongside existing reps and stewards, get involved in and
support existing workplace or branch structures, and contribute
to the wider work of the union.

Encourage other union reps to take the Organising and Learning


course which is designed for reps who are not ULRs.

Organising and Learning: three-day course


This course will help reps:
❙ understand the relationship between organising and learning
❙ understand trade union functions in relation to organising
and learning
❙ recognise the challenges and opportunities of organising and
learning
❙ understand the union approach to building links between
organising and learning
❙ develop an action plan
❙ support the union in their organising strategies.

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Benefits of ULRs <<

Negotiate a learning agreement


Negotiating a learning agreement helps embed learning in the
workplace and secures employer commitment to supporting
lifelong learning and skills. Working together, union learning
reps and stewards can ensure that workplace learning projects
and initiatives support the wider work of the union in the
workplace, company or organisation. A model TUC learning
agreement can be found on page 28.

Your union’s full-time officer or organiser should be able to help


you negotiate a learning agreement, and you can also get
support from your regional unionlearn team. See pages 77–78.

Publicise your successes


Union-led initiatives around learning and skills ‘add value’ to the
union card and are a great showcase for the positive work done by
unions. Make sure that members and non-members alike are aware
of your successes, and the role the union has played in delivering
your learning project or activity. So publicise what you do.

❙ Give union learning a high profile through posters, notice


boards and newsletters.
❙ Use successful learners to recruit other new members and learners.
❙ Use your union’s logo on all learning materials.

Think about how you can include non-members in learning.


Non-members often join the union as a direct result of our
positive work on learning – and enthusiastic learners are
great advocates for trade unionism.

Encourage members to play an active role


About a third of ULRs are brand new activists. Think about how
you can use your workplace learning project or activity to
encourage more members to get involved. Publicise and use ULR
statutory rights to paid time off for training and work. Encourage
members to take on the ULR role, or simply ask people to help
with the mapping exercise or distributing publicity or information
about the project in their work area.

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>> Benefits of ULRs

Lifelong learning can’t be ‘done’ to members – think creatively


about how you engage them in your project or activity. And
don’t forget that many people who come into union activism via
learning then go on to other roles within the union.

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SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 5 SECTION 6 SECTION 7 SECTION 8

and rights
Functions
Section 3
Mark Thompson
Functions and rights <<

The key functions undertaken by ULRs are set out in the


Employment Act 2002.

ULR statutory functions


Statutory functions are:
❙ identifying learning or training needs
❙ providing information and advice about learning or training
❙ arranging learning or training
❙ promoting the value of learning or training
❙ consulting the employer about carrying out such activities
❙ preparing to carry out any of the above activities.

In the past, many ULRs have had difficulty in obtaining time off
from employers to carry out their duties and to train for them.
That is why the TUC and its unions persuaded the Government
to introduce statutory recognition that gives learning reps
similar rights to union representatives as a whole.

The Employment Act 2002 gives rights to paid time off to


ULRs provided:
❙ they are in independent unions – such as those affiliated to
the TUC
❙ they are in workplaces where unions are recognised by the
employer for collective bargaining purposes.

Statutory rights for ULRs and union members


❙ Union learning representatives are entitled to reasonable paid
time off for training and for carrying out their duties.
❙ Union members are entitled to unpaid time off to consult their
learning representative, as long as they belong to a bargaining
unit for which the union is recognised.

Union members needing to access their ULR have the right to


do this in work time but the employer is not legally obliged to
pay them during this time.

The way these rights can be implemented is set out in the ACAS
Code of Practice on Time Off for Union Representatives.

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>> Functions and rights

How to secure recognition and paid time off


❙ The union needs to give notice to the employer in writing of
the name of the appointed ULR (see sample form on page 21).
❙ The ULR needs to be sufficiently trained to carry out his/her
duties either at the time of the notice or in normal situations
within six months.
❙ Whether training is ‘sufficient’ is determined by the union and
should cover the functions set out in the Employment Act. It
need not lead to a qualification although that would be
desirable. The employer has to pay for the time that the ULR is
being trained.
❙ The union/ULR should inform the employer of the training
either undergone or to be undertaken.
❙ Once the employer is notified of the ULR’s past training or
intention to train, then the employer is obliged to recognise
the ULR by providing paid time off to carry out the duties and
for any required further training.

The amount and frequency of the time off has to be ‘reasonable’


in all circumstances. For example, when a ULR arranges to have
a meeting with members it must be at a time that does not
undermine the safety and security of other workers in the
production process. Employers also need to be reasonable and
ensure that ULRs are able to engage with hard-to-reach groups
such as shift workers, part-time staff and those employed at
dispersed locations.

ULRs should provide management with as much notice as


possible of the purpose of the time off, the location and the
timing and duration and the content of any training course.

Employers should consider making available facilities necessary


for ULRs to perform their functions such as rooms for
meetings/interviews, office space and the use of electronic
access such as the internet and emailing.

When a union feels that an employer is being unreasonable and


refusing to grant paid time off for ULR duties or training or

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Functions and rights <<

enabling union members to access ULR services then the union


can lay a complaint to an employment tribunal.

Union learning representative appointment form


To the employer
Please amend your records accordingly.

Union learning representative’s details


name
home address
postcode work department
telephone number home work
email address

Employer’s details
name
home address
postcode
telephone number

Union learning representative’s bargaining unit


details of workplace/work departments covered

Name of branch branch number


Signature of branch secretary/area organiser
date

How to use the form


Once the ULR appointment has been ratified by the branch
committee, the branch secretary/area organiser completes the
details and signs and dates the form.

The branch secretary/area organiser:


❙ sends a copy to the employer as written notification of
appointment with an explanatory letter if appropriate
❙ keeps a copy for their own records

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>> Functions and rights

❙ contacts the local [name of union] office to get the member


identified as a ULR on their ULR database
❙ arranges training for the new ULR.

Barriers to carrying out their role


In spite of these statutory rights, ULRs still find barriers to carrying
out their duties. According to respondents to the ULR survey:
❙ almost half are provided with either none or just up to an
hour of paid time off per week by their employer to carry out
their duties
❙ 28 per cent felt that their workload was not reduced to enable
them to conduct their ULR role
❙ 57 per cent are not given any cover while conducting their role
❙ 35 per cent stated that they did not have sufficient office
space to carry out their duties.

Hours a week on ULR activities paid by employer

Most of these barriers are experienced not just by ULRs but also
by union representatives as a whole. That is why the Government
carried out a review of workplace representatives’ facilities and

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Functions and rights <<

facility time. The review found that some representatives “face


problems in successfully balancing their normal work duties with
their representative functions … which can lead to their under-
performance as workplace representatives”.

The Government has however ruled out any strengthening of the


regulatory framework. Instead it has asked the Advisory,
Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS ) to revise and update
its Code of Practice on Time Off for Trade Union Duties and
Activities. It will ask ACAS to consider how the issues of cover,
workloads, the position of middle managers, access to ICT
facilities and confidentiality should be treated in its Code.

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>>

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ULR agreements
Section 4
ULR agreements <<

Some of the problems that ULRs experience could be overcome


by a learning agreement. A formal agreement between a union
and an employer on time off can avoid misunderstanding and
ensure fair and reasonable treatment.

As the ACAS code states: “to take account of the variety of


circumstances and problems which can arise, there can be
positive advantages for employers and trade unions in
establishing agreements on time off in ways which reflect their
own situations.”

The agreement will form the basis of your organisation’s learning


agenda and include rights of access to training and learning.

Unions in recognised workplaces have a statutory right to


negotiate on pay and conditions. There is as yet however no
statutory right for unions in recognised workplaces to negotiate
on training issues for their members. Such negotiations over
training are voluntary and happen in less than 10 per cent of
recognised workplaces. The TUC has argued strongly that
training should be a core bargaining issue under the statutory
union recognition scheme.

Some unions who already have machinery for negotiating


training may wish to include arrangements for ULRs. Some
unions may have included them in a separate facilities time
agreement with the employer that might cover all union
representatives. Others might wish to establish a separate
learning agreement. It will very much depend on the union and
the workplace.

Union representatives or ULRs, depending on the union policy


and practice, could negotiate a separate learning agreement. A
learning agreement can include some or all of the following:
❙ a commitment from both parties to learning
❙ the number of ULRs and how the union will appoint them
❙ the amount of time off for ULRs to carry out their duties, and
undertake training

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>> ULR agreements

❙ type and form of ULR training


❙ the amount of time off permitted for union members to meet
their ULRs and if it could be paid time off
❙ the procedure for requesting time off
❙ the procedure for resolving disputes concerning providing
time off
❙ arrangements for payment to be made for time off and
whether payment might be made to shift and part-time
employees undertaking trade union duties outside their
normal working hours
❙ facilities for ULRs such as a room to conduct interviews, use of
telephone, electronic mail, internet, notice boards etc.
❙ the establishment of a joint learning committee comprised of
equal numbers of union and employer representatives
❙ the undertaking of learning needs surveys
❙ regular promotional activities regarding learning
❙ regular dissemination of information on training and
learning opportunities
❙ paid time off to learn as well as employer contribution to
course fees.

ULRs will wish to increase the numbers of employees in


workplaces who get paid time off to train and this is best
achieved through negotiation with the employer.

26 unionlearn Working for learners


ULR agreements <<

Time off for training the workforce4

You may wish to negotiate a learning agreement around the


model on page 28, which could be tailored to meet the
policies of your union, the needs of your members and the
context of your workplace.

4. Proportion of union members ULRs represent given time off from their normal work duties to
undertake training during the past 12 months

Working for learners unionlearn 27


>> ULR agreements

A model framework learning agreement

❙ This agreement is between [insert name of union] and


[insert name of organisation].
❙ Both [insert name of organisation] and [insert name of
union] are committed to working in partnership to promote
and support lifelong learning and ensure equal access to
learning opportunities.
❙ Both parties will encourage staff to take up learning
activities.
❙ The union will be responsible for recruiting ULRs and will
inform management of the names and
workplaces/departments of the ULRs.
❙ The number of ULRs will be [insert number].
❙ The functions of the ULRs should cover [insert functions
based around ACAS code].
❙ Paid time off will be granted to ULRs to enable them to carry
out their duties effectively [state an agreed minimum
amount of time].
❙ Paid time off will be granted to ULRs in order to undertake
training. Initial training will take place as soon as possible
after appointment.
❙ Employees will also be entitled to time off (whether it will be
paid or unpaid time off) to participate in promotional events
and to access their ULR.
❙ A procedure will be established to resolve any disputes
about the application of the ACAS code.
❙ Suitable facilities will be provided e.g. office space, filing
cabinets, stationery, telephone, access to electronic
equipment including email, notice boards etc.
❙ A joint learning committee will be established no later than
[insert timescales for establishing the committee] from
this agreement (see page 29 for possible terms of
reference).
❙ The terms of this agreement will be reviewed by the learning
committee at regular intervals to ensure that they continue
to reflect the needs of the workforce.

28 unionlearn Working for learners


ULR agreements <<

Example of an existing joint learning committee agreement

Site Learning Committee: terms of reference

Role
The overall aim of the group will be to promote, initiate,
support and monitor lifelong learning activities across the site.
It will work to make learning opportunities as accessible and
affordable as possible to all employees, enabling them to
increase skills and maximise their own potential.

Membership
The steering group will comprise of [insert number to be agreed
at each site] nominated union learning representatives (ULRs), a
senior representative from each recognised union, a senior
operations manager, representatives from the human resources
and training functions, project workers/advisors from the
relevant trade unions and a nominated person from the partner
college. The group will also reserve the right to co-opt
representatives from other outside agencies e.g. unionlearn,
learning skills councils etc., to assist as and when necessary.

Meeting arrangements
The steering group will meet on a regular basis as required,
but no less than six times each year. The operations manager
will chair the group and the ULR co-ordinator will take
responsibility for collating items and compiling the agenda.
A nominated member of the group will record action points
from the meeting.

Responsibilities
These are to:
❙ identify learning needs and aspirations of employees on site
in line with the ULR learning needs analysis
❙ develop and promote a range of on site learning initiatives,
to encourage individuals back into learning, including a
designated learning centre on site

Working for learners unionlearn 29


>> ULR agreements

❙ monitor and evaluate activities, feedback and effectiveness


of the initiative in accordance with agreed criteria
❙ work together with colleges and other outside bodies to
maximise potential for learning opportunities
❙ identify funding both internal and external, to assist with
learning activity and explore options for making learning
both affordable and sustainable
❙ support the network of ULRs in their role as advocates and
organisers of learning
❙ explore new initiatives both within and outside of the
company which will support the learning process
❙ administer and manage the site level learning fund in
accordance with the jointly agreed learning fund regulations
❙ ensure effective communication with the existing trade union
and company structures regarding the aims, objectives and
progress of the Lifelong Learning Initiative
❙ provide a standard site level report to the National Learning
Committee on a regular basis.

30 unionlearn Working for learners


SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 5 SECTION 6 SECTION 7 SECTION 8

ULR activities
Section 5
Mark Thompson
ULR activities <<

The activities of a ULR can be very wide-ranging. They include


signposting a range of courses to members, arranging for
college tutors to come to the workplace to deliver learning at a
time to suit members’ needs, supporting members with literacy
and numeracy needs or running a workplace learning centre.

ULR activities in the workplace

Working for learners unionlearn 31


>> ULR activities

Promoting the value of learning


Many employers regard training their workforce as a cost rather
than an investment for the future. There is a long tail of mainly
small and medium-sized firms who do not train their workers.
Often, employees who have the least qualifications are unaware
of the benefits of learning. ULRs can do much to make the
argument for training and learning.

Why training matters: facts and figures

Training can lead to greater productivity


❙ A five percentage-point increase in the number of workers
trained can result in a four per cent increase in value added
per worker.
❙ The effect of training on productivity is around twice as great as
the effect on training on wages, with the 4 per cent increase
resulting in 1.6 per cent increase in wages. So both employees
and firms can share in the gains from employer-provided training.

Training reduces the chance of unemployment


❙ If you’re under 30 and in the labour market, you’re half as
likely to be unemployed if you’re qualified to Level 2 than if
you have no qualification at all.

The better qualified you are the more likely you are to
get further training
❙ Whilst 40 per cent of those with degrees or above receive job-
related training, only 6 per cent of those without qualifications
do so.

Higher skills can mean a longer life


❙ In the highest skill group, mortality rates fell by 44 per cent
between 1971 and 1992, compared to only a 10 per cent fall
within the lowest skill group.

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ULR activities <<

The higher the qualification the higher the average


wage full-time per hour

5. Level 3 includes NVQ Level 3/ 2 A levels


6. Level 2 includes NVQ Level 2/ 5 GCSEs A–C

Working for learners unionlearn 33


>> ULR activities

Supporting learners
ULRs have a key role in informing and supporting learners in the
workplace. Their main activities include:
❙ interviewing members, listening, asking questions
❙ identifying and analysing their learning needs
❙ checking out any practical problems that will get in the way of
learning such as study costs or childcare
❙ helping members decide what to do and make plans
❙ finding information and signposting
❙ brokering with providers such as colleges and setting up
learning opportunities
❙ offering continuing support, mentoring and coaching.

Unionlearn has developed some tools and resources to help


ULRs to support learners in the workplace.

Unionlearn learning and careers advice service


Unionlearn has joined forces with learndirect Careers Advice to
provide a free, impartial and confidential service tailored to the
needs of unions and their members. ULRs can call the service
on behalf of members or signpost them to the service so that
they can use it themselves.

What the unionlearn advice service offers


On the telephone line helpline 08000 92 91 90 (free from a
landline), union members can:
❙ call from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week
❙ speak to an adviser for information and advice on courses,
jobs, paying for training or finding childcare
❙ have a longer interview and develop an action plan with a
careers coach
❙ access information and advice in nine different community
languages.

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ULR activities <<

On the website www.unionlearn.org.uk/uladvice, ULRs and


union members can:
❙ email an adviser
❙ search for a course
❙ find out about jobs and careers
❙ get help with writing a CV
❙ find out about funding, childcare and other forms of support
❙ access free downloadable resources including leaflets and
posters.

The union learning Climbing Frame


The Climbing Frame is an online tool for ULRs and other union
reps, which holds information about a range of learning themes
and opportunities that can be updated and continuously
developed. It also signposts relevant learning opportunities to
members, whatever their skill levels. It can be accessed at
www.unionlearn.org.uk, where there is a link to the Climbing
Frame information page.
ULRs and other union reps can use the Climbing Frame to:
❙ obtain up-to-date information to help in discussions with
members
❙ work with learners to develop an individual action plan
❙ gather information about learning needs to support
negotiations with employers.

The learning themes provide on-screen information including:


❙ information and signposting
❙ learning and organising
❙ supporting additional learning needs
❙ Skills for Life
❙ trade union education
❙ ICT
❙ personal development and leisure
❙ higher education.

The learner management section of the Climbing Frame enables


ULRs and other union reps to construct a personal climbing
frame with individual learners to help identify and access

Working for learners unionlearn 35


>> ULR activities

learning pathways. The ULRs and other union reps can:


❙ add a new learner and create union learner details record
❙ edit or delete union learner details
❙ create a personal climbing frame with each learner
❙ review the Climbing Frame of an individual learner.

Records of each meeting are stored and can be updated after


each discussion. At the end of each session a personal climbing
frame can be printed for the learner to use as they wish.

As well as this generic unionlearn Climbing Frame, some unions


have worked with unionlearn to develop bespoke ones. These
have themes and content customised to meet specific
requirements of the union and the sectors where their members
work.

Adult Advancement and Careers Service


Nextstep is the current government service that provides free
information on learning and work opportunities to all adults
aged 20 and over. People can get information about work and
learning opportunities available locally, advice on how to apply
for a job and plan a career as well as information about
benefits. It can also provide advice (subject to eligibility) on
issues such as identifying skills needs, information about the
job market, job search skills, financial support and services
available in the case of redundancy.

The new Adult Advancement and Careers Service will merge the
information and advice services of learndirect and Nextstep
providers in partnership with Jobcentre Plus. ULRs can help their
members access these services. You will need to keep up-to-
date on these changes – it’s a good idea to check the
unionlearn website.

36 unionlearn Working for learners


ULR activities <<

Nextstep for Boots


In Nottinghamshire, Nextstep and USDAW union learning
representatives are working together to ensure that
Boots’ employees facing redundancy have every
opportunity to develop their skills.

The ULRs play a key role as initially they identify


employees who will benefit from support and arrange
appointments for them with Nextstep advisers. Boots
has made a grant of £300 available to every employee
towards the cost of a course. When the learning needs of
individuals have been identified the ULRs provide the
employee with support by sourcing either a suitable
course for basic skills or vocational training with the
support of a Nextstep adviser.

Arranging learning/training
As a ULR you may need to establish partnerships with outside
organisations in order to promote lifelong learning amongst
members.

A major barrier to members becoming involved in learning is


that courses are often inaccessible and arranged at times which
make it difficult to attend. Establishing a partnership with a
college means that you can agree that courses will be run at
times and in places which suit members’ needs.

In larger workplaces, colleges may agree to run courses in a


workplace learning centre. In smaller workplaces ULRs have
agreed on site learning using laptop computers provided by the
local college.

The cost of some courses can be prohibitive to members but


you can use the fact that you are representing a number of
learners to negotiate reduced rates.

Finding the right people to talk to in a college can be difficult

Working for learners unionlearn 37


>> ULR activities

and time consuming. A good place to start is by contacting your


regional unionlearn team who work closely with a number of
colleges in their area. See pages 77–78.

Supporting workplace learning centres


Learning centres within or near the workplace are an integral part of
the lifelong learning agenda. They help to create a learning culture
and widen participation. Learning centres contribute towards the
integration of both vocational and non-vocational learning and
show a commitment from all parties to employee development.

In partnership with trade unions some employers have set up


learning centres within their own premises. There are around
900 learning centres involving unions in locations such as
workplaces, colleges and union offices.

Unionlearn and unions run their own network of over 70


learndirect centres. These all offer learndirect online courses but
other courses as well. Many have been established as the result
of Union Learning Fund projects. Offering learndirect courses
will mean that learning centres can be open and available to
learners at a variety of times. This is especially useful for shift-
workers. Many centres offer a wide range of learning such as ICT
skills, Skills for Life, foreign languages and NVQs.

Developing better access to learning is an important element in


the role of the learning representative. Learning centres also
provide access to flexible learning and are therefore a gateway
to future opportunities.

The partnership approach is perhaps the key to establishing a


successful learning centre. It is also the best way to address
issues such as literacy, numeracy and ICT. Partners should
include the employer, trade unions and a learning provider.

For experienced ULRs, TUC Education provides courses on


running learndirect learning centres as part of the unionlearn

38 unionlearn Working for learners


ULR activities <<

network. For further information phone the unionlearn


learndirect Support Centre at 0191 227 5567.

Unions will want to ensure that ULRs have the facility time to
support learners in the centre. Where this happens, take-up is
likely to be much higher.

Unionlearn Quality Award


The award is granted to providers who demonstrate that union
learners are considered in the design, development and delivery
of courses and programmes. It is based on good practice criteria
around working with unions and in teaching and learning. The
Quality Award will help signpost ULRs to union-friendly provision.

Wirral Metropolitan College receives


Quality Award
“We have an excellent working relationship with trade
unions. We are delighted and privileged to receive the
Quality Award as recognition of our strong commitment
to our union learning work. We will continue to build
upon this prestigious relationship.”
Mike Potter, principal and chief executive
Wirral Metropolitan College

The provider must work with a trained unionlearn assessor to


demonstrate good practice and continuous improvement.

Working for learners unionlearn 39


>>

40 unionlearn Working for learners


SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 5 SECTION 6 SECTION 7 SECTION 8

ULR training
Section 6
Simon Weller
ULR training <<

The effectiveness of ULRs depends very much on the training


they get from the TUC or their union. As stated on page 19,
under the Employment Act 2002 the ULR needs to be
sufficiently trained to carry out his/her duties either at the time
of their notice of appointment or in normal situations within six
months of the appointment. To do this ULRs in recognised
workplaces have a statutory right to paid time off to train.

All ULRs are given initial training for their role through courses
provided by the TUC or individual unions. Many ULRs take the
courses at trade union education departments in local colleges,
run by a TUC tutor. Many have also done follow-on courses. The
TUC courses are all accredited through the Open College Network.

For further information on ULR programmes and centres log


into www.unionlearn.org.uk/courses or contact the TUC
regional education officer (see pages 77 and 78) or your union
education officer.

Working for learners unionlearn 41


>> ULR training

Union Learning representatives course:


five-day programme
This course is for union learning representatives (ULRs). The
core unit is Getting Organised and one optional unit from
Working with Members or Working with Employers.

The course will help you:


❙ develop your skills and knowledge as a ULR
❙ build contacts within the union and with outside organisations
❙ work with other union reps to improve union organisation at
your workplace
❙ find out what union policies are around learning
❙ integrate learning and skills in wider union activities and
structures
❙ promote the value of learning and skills within the workplace
❙ identify members’ learning needs
❙ support members in managing their own learning
❙ represent the interests of members
❙ use a systematic approach to problem solving
❙ develop a learning strategy incorporating equality for all
❙ work with other union reps on learning issues
❙ work with your employer to develop learning opportunities
❙ collect and record information
❙ find out about government policies and programmes for
learning and skills.

There is also an online first stage union learning representative


course for those union reps that need a convenient and more
flexibly delivered course. It is fully equivalent to the classroom
version, with trained TUC tutors, materials and support for
learners. Group activities take place via an online discussion
board. Learners can log in and participate whenever it suits
them and will receive support from a TUC tutor specially
qualified in online delivery methods.

To apply for this course complete the online application form at


www.unionlearn.org.uk/ULRonline.

42 unionlearn Working for learners


ULR training <<

Follow-on courses

Developing Workplace Learning:


three-day programme
This course is designed for union learning representatives and
union representatives interested in developing workplace
learning, including the use of computers and learndirect. Things
you will learn about include:
❙ what is meant by workplace learning
❙ how your members could benefit from e-learning
❙ using learndirect as a tool for learning
❙ learning partnerships and a learning workplace
❙ workplace learning agreements
❙ making learning part of wider union activity.

Supporting Learners: three-day programme


This course will help union learning reps:
❙ understand the role of the union learning representative in
supporting learners in the workplace
❙ develop skills for supporting learners
❙ identify ways in which other organisations in the network can
support learners in the workplace
❙ understand processes for reviewing and improving practice.

Skills for Life and the Union Role:


three-day programme
This course will help union learning reps:
❙ raise awareness at work
❙ encourage and support individuals and groups of members to
improve language, literacy and numeracy
❙ understand what quality learning assurances members have a
free entitlement to
❙ find out how they can best work with Skills for Life specialists
❙ find out the extent and boundaries of the ULR role
❙ work with employers to get the best deal for members
❙ work with providers to get the best deal for members.

Working for learners unionlearn 43


>> ULR training

Mentoring and Coaching Skills for Union Reps:


two-day programme
This course will help union reps:
❙ understand the difference between mentoring and coaching
❙ understand the role of the union rep in mentoring and
coaching individual union members
❙ identify and develop mentoring and coaching skills
❙ recognise opportunities for using these skills at work.

Skills for Life – the Whole Organisation Approach:


three-day programme
This course will help union learning reps:
❙ understand the potential impact of the whole organisation
approach
❙ recognise the ways in which the union rep can support the
whole organisation approach
❙ identify ways of working with employers and providers on the
whole organisation approach.

Climbing Frame for Union Learning Reps:


two-day programme
This course will help union learning reps understand how the
Climbing Frame can be used to enhance their own role and
provide detailed and structured support for learners.
By the end of the course participants will understand how the
Climbing Frame works and be able use it to help learners to:
❙ explore a variety of learning themes
❙ use the learner management tools to add and manage
relevant information
❙ develop individual action plans with union learners and keep
accurate records for ULR and individual learner use.

44 unionlearn Working for learners


ULR training <<

Working with Members: three-day programme


This course will help union learning reps:
❙ review the learning and skills opportunities available in your
workplace
❙ explain the equality issues around learning and skills
❙ identify individual learning needs and in particular Skills for
Life needs
❙ understand important initiatives in learning and skills
❙ identify what information you need on learning in the workplace
❙ understand what is involved in an action plan on learning and
skills in the workplace.

Working with Employers: three-day programme


This course will help union learning reps:
❙ understand what is meant by a learning workplace
❙ identify suitable options for your workplace
❙ demonstrate an understanding of union agreements around
learning and skills
❙ demonstrate an understanding of how your employer
identifies training and learning needs
❙ demonstrate an understanding of how to negotiate with the
employer
❙ demonstrate the ability to prioritise issues.

Negotiating with Employers on Learning:


three-day programme
This course will help union learning reps:
❙ develop and practice negotiating skills as union learning reps
❙ be more effective team negotiators
❙ understand the process of negotiating
❙ be familiar with different styles of negotiating
❙ understand how to prepare, present and negotiate
❙ develop good practice in negotiations.

Working for learners unionlearn 45


>> ULR training

How to Work with Providers: three-day programme


This course will help union learning reps:
❙ understand how providers work
❙ understand the role of the ULR with the providers
❙ develop negotiating skills
❙ understand equality issues around learning
❙ understand the principles of developing partnerships with
learning providers
❙ plan for the future.

Learning and Organising: three-day programme


This course will help any union reps:
❙ examine the current situation in their workplace and identify
some of the environmental factors that impact on the learning
and organising agenda
❙ enhance knowledge and understanding of the link between
learning and organising
❙ develop a coherent approach to integrating organising into
learning activities
❙ analyse the characteristics that underpin successful and
robust learning and organising initiatives
❙ examine the way in which learning can be used to raise the
union profile at the workplace
❙ identify how to use the learning agenda to make unions more
attractive to non-members and engage existing members
❙ examine the role reps can play in strengthening workplace
organisation and the recruitment of new members
❙ formulate an action plan to develop and strengthen workplace
learning projects to maximise opportunities for union growth
and renewal.

ULRs – particularly those who have never held a union position


before – may wish to train for other union duties such as union
reps or health and safety representatives (see chart opposite).

46 unionlearn Working for learners


ULR training <<

Possible progression routes for union


learning representatives

Union Learning
representatives
5-day course

Personal and
Follow on ULR professional Induction
modules7 development7 courses7

Skills for life and Learning and Union Rep


the union role organising induction
(leading to a
10-day course and
one year certificate
course in
Employment Law or
Contemporary
Working with Negotiating Trade Unions)
employers skills

Health and
Safety Rep
induction
(leading to a
10-day course and
Supporting Discussion one year certificate
learners leaders course)

7. three-day courses

Working for learners unionlearn 47


>>

48 unionlearn Working for learners


SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 5 SECTION 6 SECTION 7 SECTION 8

Support for
learning
Section 7
Lorne Campbell / Guzelian
Support for learning <<

Entitlements for learners


Unions and their ULRs can do much to support their members in
to learning. In 2007, over 150,000 learners had taken up
learning through the union route. Most of these are doing ICT
learndirect courses, Skills for Life learning or a range of FE
courses. The unionlearn target is for 250,000 learners to take
the union route in 2010. ULRs will be key to achieving this.

Learners via union route

There is a large number of workers who have few or no


qualifications. The Government recognises that there is a
specific and urgent priority to tackle skills and employment
needs for people who are out of work or who currently have low
skills. Overall, around half of those who have very low skill
levels – around 2.5 million people – are not in work.

Too many people still find it difficult to find a job or progress in


work. They are trapped in a cycle of low-skilled, poorly-paid,
often short-term employment with few training opportunities
and dependence on state benefits. Many of those who are

Working for learners unionlearn 49


>> Support for learning

registered as unemployed frequently move in and out of work.


Some groups such as people with disabilities and lone parents
need more help to acquire the skills they need to get into work
and get on once in work.

The skills challenge


❙ About 13 per cent of the adult population have no
qualifications.
❙ Seven million people have functional numeracy needs.
❙ Five million people have functional literacy needs.

Lord Leitch’s Report commissioned by the Government


recommended that the UK commit to becoming a world leader
in skills by 2020. By 2020 almost 20 million additional people
will require higher skills than at present. Since over 70 per cent
of our 2020 workforce have completed their statutory
education, we will need to improve the skills of our existing
workforce, not just young people, if we are to meet this
challenge.

The skills targets for 2020


❙ 95 per cent of adults to have the basic skills of functional
literacy and numeracy, up from 85 per cent literacy and 79 per
cent numeracy in 2005.
❙ Over 90 per cent of adults to be qualified to at least Level 2,
up from 69 per cent in 2005.
❙ To shift the balance of intermediate skills from Level 2 to Level 3,
with 1.9 million additional Level 3 attainments over the period.
❙ To deliver 500,000 apprenticeships annually.
❙ In excess of 40 per cent of adults to be qualified to Level 4
and above, up from 29 per cent in 2005.
Source: Leitch Review of Skills 2006

The Government has introduced a number of measures to provide


entitlements to workers with low or no qualifications to achieve at
least a Level 2 vocational qualification/Skills for Life qualification.

50 unionlearn Working for learners


Support for learning <<

Skills for Life


Skills for Life includes literacy, numeracy and English for Speakers
of Other Languages (ESOL) programmes. Courses on literacy and
numeracy are free. Stand-alone Skills for Life courses not linked to
NVQs can be funded through Train to Gain (see page 52).

Recent changes to ESOL funding mean that low paid workers in


receipt of working tax credits retain the free entitlement. Other
workplace learners or their employers would have to meet the
cost of course fees. The TUC has argued against these changes. In
some cases providers may accept alternative evidence of low pay
(such as payslips, P60s and other tax forms). Each Learning and
Skills Council (LSC) region has Learner Support Hardship Funds
which colleges can use if learners cannot provide the evidence
required to qualify for full fee remission.

Unionlearn has established the role of Skills for Life Advocate.


Such advocates champion Skills for Life for the workforce and use
their role to influence policy nationally, regionally and within
sectors. They can help raise the profile of ULRs in this key area.
Some advocates are senior trade unionists such as general
secretaries, and even celebrities. But others are ULRs with much
experience in promoting Skills for Life.

ULR becomes Skills for Life Advocate


“I am really proud to receive this Skills for Life Advocate
Award. I really feel that it’s important to reach people
who traditionally haven’t had the chance to access
learning. For example, I have been able to support
domestic staff at Ashworth Hospital to gain qualifications
in numeracy, literacy, customer service and cleansing
support service. None of them had ever engaged in adult
learning before, but now they’ve completed their courses
and embraced the learning culture”.
Laura Boyd, POA ULR and Skills for Life Advocate
Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside

Working for learners unionlearn 51


>> Support for learning

Train to Gain
This government scheme is designed to help more employers
engage in workforce development, such as training those
employees that have do not have a Level 2 qualification. It is a
service whereby skills brokers provide eligible employers with
advice on workplace training including:
❙ how much paid time off is needed for learning
❙ what is free of charge e.g. first full Level 2 vocational
qualifications and Skills for Life
❙ what is partially subsidised e.g. Level 3 in some pilot areas
(currently North West and West Midlands and for some
women in London).

Where ESOL is delivered through Train to Gain, the LSC will


expect the employer to pay for any course fee element required,
rather than the learners themselves.

The Learning and Skills Council has agreed a Train to Gain Protocol
with the TUC to help ULRs and other union reps to work with skills
brokers in delivering the training opportunities in the workplace.

LSC TUC protocol


Skills brokers will:
❙ identify if there is a recognised trade union at the workplace
and identify any learning agreements or other relevant
collective agreements
❙ notify the employer that they are arranging to meet and work
with ULRs and other union reps
❙ work with unions to co-ordinate employer engagement activity
and ensure employees are supported in accessing training
opportunities
❙ understand the role of ULRs and promote their beneficial
impact in the workplace.

52 unionlearn Working for learners


Support for learning <<

Union checklist for Train to Gain


❙ Ensure that the development needs of the whole workforce
are met and no groups of eligible workers or individuals are
left out.
❙ Ensure quality and include learning and training beyond
Level 2.
❙ Establish who pays for learning for which there is a charge
and what the employer contribution should be. If collective
learning funds are established, learners should contribute
time and employers should contribute both time and money.
❙ Ensure that there is time off to learn.

The contribution to wage costs applies in companies with 50


employees or under but employers are expected to give time
off to learn for Level 2 (Level 3 in pilot areas) as their
contribution to free learning. Unions will want to ensure this
happens – and more besides.

Skills Pledge
The Skills Pledge is a public commitment by the leadership of a
company or organisation to support all its employees to
develop their basic skills, including literacy and numeracy, and
work towards qualifications to at least Level 2. It is important
that unions and their ULRs put pressure on their employer to
sign the pledge. Unions and their ULRs should also be involved
in delivering the provision and monitoring the take up. These
could be included in a learning agreement with the employer.

“We will encourage union learning representatives to


work with employers to make the Skills Pledge, to draw
up action plans for delivering the pledge, and to help
more employers and employees to access Train to Gain
brokerage and funds for training”.
World Class Skills, DIUS. 2007

The Government has stated that, if insufficient progress is made


towards its world class skills ambition for 2020, it will consider

Working for learners unionlearn 53


>> Support for learning

creating an entitlement to workplace training for employees in


England lacking a first full Level 2 qualification or equivalent. It
will ask the new UK Commission for Employment and Skills to
maintain an overview of progress towards the Government’s
ambition, and in 2010 Government will review whether
introduction of an entitlement is necessary and appropriate.

Unions need to get employers signed up to the pledge. Sending


them a formal letter could help engage them.

54 unionlearn Working for learners


Support for learning <<

Model letter on Skills Pledge

To the employer
From the union

Dear

I would like to draw your attention to the Skills Pledge currently


being promoted by the Learning and Skills Council
(www.traintogain.gov.uk/skillspledge/). This pledge is a public
commitment by employers to support all employees to gain the
skills and qualifications needed to enable them to make a full
contribution to the success of the business/organisation and
their future employability.

The Government’s review on skills recommended that should


there be insufficient progress by 2010 there should be a
statutory entitlement to workplace training for employees
without a full Level 2 qualification or equivalent.

By signing up to and implementing the terms of the Skills Pledge


you will be demonstrating to current and future employees that
[business/organisation name] has a genuine commitment to
their skills needs, as well as those of the business/organisation.
It will also give you access to any financial support available
under the Train to Gain scheme. On our part, our union
representatives (and union learning representatives) will provide
you with as much support as possible in helping to deliver the
training opportunities at the workplace.

(This can only complement and expand the work we are already
engaged on together in the [name of workplace learning
committee] and will reinforce the message given to the employees
when we concluded the Learning Agreement in [insert year])*.

*delete if you have no learning agreement with your employer or workplace


learning committee

Working for learners unionlearn 55


>> Support for learning

Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships provide work-based training to young people
and adults who want to learn new skills and gain qualifications
while working. Apprenticeships are available across 80 different
sectors of industry, covering a huge range of subjects from
engineering to business administration.

There are two levels of apprenticeship widely available:


❙ Apprenticeships, which tend to last for at least a year and
apprentices work towards a National Vocational Qualification at
Level 2, Key Skills and – in most cases – a technical certificate.
❙ Advanced Apprenticeships usually last at least two years and
apprentices work towards a National Vocational Qualification
at Level 3, Key Skills and a technical certificate.
There are currently around 250,000 apprentices, the majority of
whom are 16–24 year olds. For 16–18 year old apprentices, most
training is paid for by the Government and 19–24 year old
apprentices receive subsidised training.
Opportunities for Apprenticeships for adults (25+) have been
available since September 2007 and are continuing to develop.

Apprenticeship training at Merseytravel


Unions and ULRs are very much involved in supporting
apprentices in Merseytravel – the passenger transport
authority in the North West. They have been closely
involved in their development through the Joint Learning
Forum established between management and unions. As
well as 30 days off-the-job training a year, and half a day
every week on their NVQ, many of the apprentices have
taken advantage of the three union learning centres
established by a Union Learning Fund project to take
courses like the European Computer Driving Licence.

“Overall, Merseytravel has taken the initiative very


seriously and the partnership approach to training and
education has paid off.”
Roger Irvine, senior ULR and UNISON branch secretary

56 unionlearn Working for learners


Support for learning <<

Existing union members can be suspicious that, on the one


hand, the young people might be taken on as cheap labour and,
on the other, that older workers may be excluded from similar
learning opportunities. ULRs and union reps argue that:
❙ taking on apprentices can help encourage a broader learning
culture which benefits everyone
❙ supporting apprentices can attract a new generation of
members and help build the union
❙ backing the Apprenticeship programme helps ensure
apprentices are paid a fair wage and not used to undermine
pay and conditions.

Higher level skills


As many as 27 per cent of the adult population now have a
degree or post-degree qualification. But this will have to
increase substantially as the economy’s demand for higher skills
increases up to 2020. Managers, senior officials and
professional/technical occupations will represent the largest
total demand for new workers and replacement of existing jobs.

Unionlearn is very much involved in helping unions get their


members into higher education and continuing professional
development (CPD). It has agreed memorandums of
understanding with the Open University and the National
Extension College (NEC). These offer discounts for union
members. Unionlearn is also working with Aimhigher to promote
higher education opportunities for workers.

Working for learners unionlearn 57


>> Support for learning

Help from the Open University


For union members who are paying their
own study fees, unionlearn has negotiated a
10 per cent discount on the first OU course
studied. The offer applies to all Level 1
courses worth 30 or 60 points.

For further information telephone 0845 300


60 90 – quote reference ‘union’
Or log into
www.openuniversity.co.uk/unionlearn

The OU comes to Sellafield


I trained as a union learning rep for my union, Prospect, last
year. Then I volunteered as an Aimhigher champion on the
Sellafield site. Together with the two other champions I have
encouraged union members to sign up to the Open
University openings and short courses.

As a result 20 places have been filled. I have also worked on


setting up the union learning club at Sellafield for OU
Aimhigher learners. The club offers additional support in the
workplace to learners taking courses as well as networking
opportunities for those who have enrolled on them. I
explained the OU offer with its discount for union members. I
tell them that you can try a taste of the OU and its methods
prior to taking the plunge on a half or full unit.
Val Marshall, Prospect ULR, Sellafield

Help from the National Extension College


Following the agreement with unionlearn all union members now
receive a 10 per cent discount on
any NEC home study course.
For details of all courses log on to
www.nec.ac.uk/courses
Or telephone 0800 389 2839

58 unionlearn Working for learners


Support for learning <<

Continuing Professional Development


Some unions have a specific interest and responsibility for
continuing professional development (CPD). Some professions
require qualifications in the appropriate field of at least Level 4
for entry into the profession. Examples of this are teaching,
science and professions allied to medicine such as radiography
and podiatry.

A further requirement of continuing to practice is that individuals


must update their knowledge and skills to meet changes and
developments in their field – sometimes aligned to developments
in technology or reflecting new research or other developments.
Union experience is that there is not always effective access to
CPD for part-timers, freelancers, women returners or rurally
located people. Unions and their ULRs have influenced the
delivery of CPD to make it more accessible to their members.

TUC policy on learning and skills


The TUC and its unions are pressing the Government to extend
more rights to learning to employees and to increase union
bargaining at the workplace.

TUC demands
❙ New legal rights to paid time off to train are essential. Adult
workers without a Level 2 qualification should have a
universal right to paid time off to achieve such a qualification.
This right would encourage all employers to access the state
subsidised training available under Train to Gain.
❙ Government should work with unions and others to tackle
skills discrimination. Such proposals should cover women,
black and minority ethnic workers, disabled employees and
older workers.
❙ Employers and unions should be encouraged to negotiate on
training by it being included as a collective bargaining issue
under the statutory union recognition procedure. A collective
approach on workplace skills must be a priority in all sector
skills agreements.

Working for learners unionlearn 59


>> Support for learning

❙ ULRs and union reps as a whole should have more facilities


and facility time to carry out their roles more effectively.
❙ Unions in recognised workplaces should have the statutory
right to negotiate learning agreements and to establish joint
learning committees with the employer.

60 unionlearn Working for learners


SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 5 SECTION 6 SECTION 7 SECTION 8

information
Further
Section 8
Jargon buster <<

Accreditation of Prior Learning


is a means of crediting people for achievements,
skills and knowledge that they have already gained.
Credit is awarded for learning that can be
demonstrated through providing evidence.

Adult Learners’ Week


promotes all forms of adult learning. During the
week organisations run special activities. Unions
and ULRs are very involved in its Learning at Work
day, which aims to give the workforce the
opportunity to learn something new.

Adult Learning Grant


helps adults studying full time with the costs of
learning. The grant pays up to £30 per week (subject
to financial assessment) for full-time learners aged
19 and over who are studying for their first full Level
2 or full Level 3 qualification.

Adult Advancement and Careers Service


is a new service which will merge the information
and advice services of learndirect and Nextstep
providers in partnership with Jobcentre plus.

Aimhigher A government initiative to encourage people to think


about the benefits and opportunities of higher
education, especially those from families with no
tradition of such education. Aimhigher has run a
project in the North West with unionlearn to identify
higher education pathways for union members.

Working for learners unionlearn 61


>> Jargon buster

Apprenticeships
are programmes that allow mainly 16-24 year olds
to learn on the job, while building up skills and
gaining qualifications. They are funded jointly by
DIUS (see below) and DCSF (see below). Union reps
and ULRs are involved in supporting apprentices.
Apprenticeships lead to an NVQ Level 2. Advanced
Apprenticeships last for at least two years and lead
to a NVQ at Level 3, relevant key skills qualifications
and a technical certificate. There are also Adult
Apprenticeships for those aged over 25.

Access course
is designed to prepare mature students without other
qualifications for entry into university or college to do
a degree or higher diploma course.

Awarding body
a body that develops and publishes accreditation
criteria and accredits qualifications. The major
awarding body for TUC Education qualifications is
NOCN (the National Open College Network – see
below).

Basic skills See Skills for Life

Business Link
are local agencies to provide information, advice
and support to start a new business or grow an
existing one, aimed particularly at small businesses.

Campaign for Learning


is a national charity which aims to create a passion
for learning that sustains people for life. Organises
Learning at Work Day which unionlearn and ULRs
help run at the workplace (see Adult Learners’ Week
above).

62 unionlearn Working for learners


Jargon buster <<

Career development loans


can be used for financing course fees and related
costs provided courses are vocational and last no
longer than 2 years. The loan is repaid once the
course is completed at interest rates set by the bank.

Climbing Frame
The union learning Climbing Frame is an online tool
for ULRs and other union reps that holds information
about a range of learning themes and opportunities.
It also signposts relevant learning opportunities to
members, whatever their skill levels.

Collective Learning Funds


are funding arrangements which aim to pool more
resources into workplace learning, with the delivery
of the provision jointly managed by the employer
and the unions. Models are being tested through a
project run by unionlearn in the North West and
supported by DIUS.

Commission for Employment and Skills


is a new UK-wide body with responsibilities across
each of the four nations, and for skills at all levels. It
will not have significant executive or operational
functions. It has union representation and primarily
will be advisory, shaping strategy to achieve the
government’s world class ambitions, challenging all
parties to raise their game on skills.

COVEs Centres of Vocational Excellence: colleges and


training providers are designated as excellent in
defined vocational areas. A new standard will be
rolled out in 2008.

CPD Continuing professional development: any process


or activity that provides added value to the
capability of the professional through the increase in

Working for learners unionlearn 63


>> Jargon buster

knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary


for professional and technical duties.

DCSF Department for Children, Schools and Families:


government department responsible for the
education and support of children and young
people. Funds 14–19 learning but not
apprenticeships.

Digital divide
refers to the unequal access of certain groups in
society to information and communications
technology, leading to barriers to the acquisition of
related skills. Unionlean has a number of projects
with partner colleges to narrow the digital divide.

DIUS Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills: the


government department responsible for learning and
skills policy. Funds post–19 provision including
apprenticeships and work-based training as well as
providing unionlearn core funding.

e-learning covers a wide set of applications and processes,


such as web-based learning, computer-based
learning, virtual classrooms. It includes the delivery
of content via the internet, audio and videotape,
satellite broadcast, interactive TV, and CD-ROM.

ECDL European Computer Driving Licence: european-wide


qualification which enables learners to demonstrate
their competence in computer skills.

Equal A European Social Fund (ESF) community initiative


providing funds to projects which test and promote
new means of combating discrimination and
inequalities in the labour market. The TUC unionlearn
High Road project was funded through Equal.

64 unionlearnn Working for learners


Jargon buster <<

EQIA stands for equality impact assessment for all


existing adult skills policies in respect to race,
disability, gender and age.

ESBs stands for Employment and Skills Boards. In London,


the Mayor established an ESB in 2006 to develop an
adult skills strategy for the capital. The Government
is planning to extend the number of such boards
within a network.

ESOL English for Speakers of Other Languages. These


courses are often offered in union learning centres
to migrant workers.

FE stands for further education, the provision of all


non-higher education courses after statutory
education.

Foundation degrees
are programmes designed and delivered by
partnerships of employers, employer organisations,
universities and colleges to develop technical
knowledge and skills and wider employability skills.
Equivalent to the first two years of an honours degree.

Framework for Excellence


is a framework designed to give learners and
employers clear information about the performance of
FE colleges.

HE stands for higher education, the provision of degree


and degree equivalent courses.

IAG refers to information, advice and guidance. Many


ULRs provide front-line IAG on learning to their
members.

Working for learners unionlearn 65


>> Jargon buster

ICT means information, communication and technology


courses, many of which are taken by union learners
either in learning centres or online.

IiP Investors in People: the national standard which


sets a level of good practice for training and
development of people in the workplace.

ITB means industry training board: statutory bodies with


union representation that promote and fund training
through a levy on employers in the sector. At
present there are two ITBs, both in the construction
sector.

ITQ NVQ for IT users which demonstrates competence in


the use of IT in the workplace.

Jobcentre Plus
is the government agency which supports employers
in their recruitment with labour market intelligence,
provides advice on building a diverse workforce and
in meeting their skill needs (with the LSC). Provides
support for individuals through personal advisers.

Learning agreement
is an agreement between a union and employer
which might include elements such as paid time off
for study, establishing a learning centre and facilities
and facility time for ULRs.

Learning committee
A joint forum, which allows unions and employers to
deliver and monitor the learning agreement.

Learning entitlements
are rights to free provision such as Skills for Life and
first Level 2 qualifications as well as to Level 3
qualifications for 18–25 year olds.

66 unionlearn Working for learners


Jargon buster <<

Learning needs analysis


is an assessment of the training requirements of an
organisation’s workforce usually carried out by
interviews and/or questionnaires.

Leitch Report
is the government-commissioned review of skills
which will be needed in 2020 and which set out
recommendations on how to achieve a world class
workforce by then.

Learning for All Fund


was established by unionlearn in the Northern
region to set up regional projects to help unions
deliver workplace or community learning, funded
through the LSCs and the RDA.

Learning and Skills for All Fund


was established by unionlearn in the North West
region on similar lines to the Northern Fund.

Learning Works for all Fund


was established by unionlearn in the South West
region to set up regional projects on union-led
partnerships on skills, funded by the RDA.

learndirect is the UFI brand name for the delivery of online


learning through a national network of learning
centres as well as providing a careers advice service.
Unionlearn manages a network of union learning
centres (see page 74) offering learndirect courses,
particularly ICT and Skills for Life. The unionlearn
advice service (see page 74) is a part of learndirect.

Lifelong learning
All continuous learning after the age of 16.

Working for learners unionlearn 67


>> Jargon buster

Local Learning Partnerships


are local forums for co-ordinating the activities of
local providers such as further education colleges.

LSC The Learning and Skills Council: responsible for the


funding of all post-16 education and training other
than higher education in England. Funding for 16–19
education – other than apprenticeships – will transfer
to local authorities by 2010. The TUC is represented
on the Council. The regional LSC boards fund a
number of unionlearn regional projects. New regional
councils will be established in summer 2008.

Matrix Standard
is a quality framework for the effective delivery of
information, advice and/or guidance on learning
and work. A number of union learning centres have
obtained the award.

MOU A memorandum of understanding which sets out


joint objectives and programmes of action.
Unionlearn has signed several with a number of
partners, e.g. the Open University.

National Employment Service


is a Learning and Skills Council service to provide
information, advice and support on workforce
development to large companies and organisations
with workforces of 5,000 or more.

68 unionlearn Working for learners


Jargon buster <<

National Occupational Standards


are statements of the skills, knowledge and
understanding needed for an individual to meet the
standards expected of them in employment. The
standards are industry-led and developed by
representatives of employment sectors and cover
almost every occupation in the UK. They are also the
basis for vocational qualifications and can be used
for training, appraisal and recruitment.

National Skills Academies


are employer-driven centres of excellence delivering
skills required by each major sector – the first ones
were set up in 2007. They have close connections
with SSCs (see below) in their sector.

Nextstep The Nextstep information and advice service provides


free information on learning and work to anyone aged
20 or over. Will be merged into a new Adult
Advancement and Careers Service (see page 61).

NIACE National Institute of Adult Continuing Education: is a


voluntary organisation which works closely with
unionlearn in encouraging more adults from a wide
range of backgrounds to take up all forms of
learning.

NOCN National Open College Network: the awarding body


which provides national qualifications and
programmes in a wide range of subject areas
including TUC Education courses.

NVQs National Vocational Qualifications are work-based


qualifications in England, Wales and Northern
Ireland. People are assessed on the basis of their
competence in defined tasks.

Working for learners unionlearn 69


>> Jargon buster

Online learning
see e-learning (above)

OFSTED Office for Standards in Education: the regulatory


authority which inspects all publicly funded
education and training providers, including those
delivering work-based training, further education,
e-learning and adult and community-based learning.

PSAs are public service agreements which set out


government targets for achievement across the four
qualification levels by 2011.

Paid educational leave


is leave provided by employers during working time
for their workforce to study at a local college or
workplace learning centre.

QCA Qualifications and Curriculum Authority: government


body responsible for regulating qualifications,
including vocational ones.

Qualification and Credit Framework


is a new system of recognising skills and
qualifications. It does this by awarding credit for
qualifications and units (small steps of learning). It
enables people to gain qualifications at their own
pace along flexible routes. The framework includes
TUC Education courses.

70 unionlearn Working for learners


Jargon buster <<

Qualification levels
There are six levels:
Entry Level: provides a common path of progression
to qualifications at foundation level
Level 1: foundation GNVQ/NVQ 1/Skills for Life
Level 2: 4 GCSEs A–C/intermediate GNVQ/
BTEC First Diploma/NVQ 2/Skills for Life
Level 3: 2 A levels/BTEC National Diploma/NVQ 3
Level 4: first degree/HNC/HND/NVQ 4
Level 5: postgraduate qualification/NVQ

Quality Award
is unionlearn’s award to providers who demonstrate
that union learners are considered in the design,
development and delivery of courses and
programmes. The award will help signpost ULRs to
union-friendly provision.

Quick Reads
are short, exciting books by bestselling authors and
celebrities for adults who are new to reading, have
lost the reading habit, or who prefer a quick read.
Unionlearn promotes the books through its learning
centre network.

RDAs Regional development agencies: public bodies with


union representation that aim to develop and
implement regional strategies including skills to
meet the needs of regional economies.

RSPs Regional skills partnerships: forums where


businesses and skills organisations including unions
work together to meet the skills needs of regional
economies. They set out how the delivery of adult
skills, workforce development, business support and
labour market services can provide the best support
for regional economic strategies.

Working for learners unionlearn 71


>> Jargon buster

SSCs stands for sector skills councils: employer-led


bodies with union representation established to
increase opportunities to boost the skills of the
workforce in the sector.

Sector skills agreements


are agreements that map out what skills employers
need for their workforce and how they are to be
supplied. Trade unions are involved in drawing them
up and helping to deliver them.

Skills accounts
are a new initiative whereby learners including the
unemployed will have access to a range of support
and advice within the new Adult Advancement and
Careers Service which will help them access the right
learning with the right provider. Learners will have
access to their own learner record to help them
through their career paths.

Skills for Business


is a national network of the 25 sector skills councils
(see SSCs )

Skills brokers
are independent advisers to help employers to
assess their training needs and arrange provision
under Train to Gain (see below). They will be
expected work with ULRs in carrying out this role.

Skills for Life


is the Government’s national strategy for improving
literacy and numeracy and includes ESOL (English
for speakers of other languages). ULRs are active in
supporting Skills for Life learners.

72 unionlearn Working for learners


Jargon buster <<

Skills for Life Advocate


is a senior union officer who champions literacy,
numeracy and ESOL within the union movement.

Skills Pledge
a public commitment by the leadership of a
company or organisation to support all its
employees to develop their basic skills including
literacy and numeracy, and to work towards
qualifications to at least Level 2. ULRs will work with
employers to deliver the pledge.

SMEs small- and medium-sized enterprises with less than


250 employees.

SVQs Scottish vocational qualifications: work-based


qualifications in Scotland modelled on NVQs.

Train to Gain
is a government brokerage scheme to increase
employer demand for workplace training,
particularly those employees without a Level 2
qualification. Unions and ULRs have been given a
role in supporting the programme.

Training levy
is a levy on employers within a sector to fund
training administered by an ITB (see page 66).

Ufi University for Industry: brand name for learndirect


(see page 67).

ULR is an acronym for union learning representative: a


representative whose role is promoting, brokering
and helping to deliver learning at the workplace.

Working for learners unionlearn 73


>> Jargon buster

ULR database
is a database of ULR contact details held by
unionlearn.

unionlearn is the TUC’s learning organisation, established in


2006, whose responsibility includes TUC Education,
support for unions and their ULRs and the Union
Learning Fund.

Unionlearn Advice Service


is operated for unionlearn by learndirect as a free,
impartial and confidential service. Its aim is to help
union members to develop new skills, improve their
job prospects or change jobs.

Union Learning Centre


is the centre established at a workplace, union office
or college to provide learning facilities. Many union
learning centres are in the unionlearn learndirect
network, offering online courses.

Union Learning Fund


was set up by the Government in 1998 to fund
union-led projects aimed at increasing union
capacity in learning and skills. The fund supports
£15m of union-led projects annually.

WEA Workers’ Educational Association: runs about


10,000 courses a year for adult learners and works
in partnership with unions to deliver workplace
learning, particularly in the health service and in
local government.

Workforce development
refers to learning activities that increase the capacity
of individuals to participate effectively at the
workplace.

74 unionlearn Working for learners


Resources <<

Free unionlearn resources


ULRs and unions can order a range of unionlearn products and
materials from partner organisations at:
www.unionlearn.org.uk/freebooks. All items are free of charge,
with postage and packing free as well. You can order the latest
DVDs, posters, leaflets, booklets and promotional materials.

All the publications mentioned here are available on the


unionlearn website at www.unionlearn.org.uk/publications. You
can order copies to be sent by post, or you can download them.
And don’t forget to sign up for regular email alerts, which will
keep you up-to-date with all the latest publications.

Here is a selection of publications designed to help you.

Apprenticeships: A guide for union reps and negotiators


Explains how the new programmes work and why
unions have an important role to play in their
success.

English Language at Work


Joint publication with CBI and DIUS, which includes
ESOL case studies.

Sector Skills Councils pack


Includes guides on how ULRs can work with SSCs and
a model union action plan for sector skills agreements.

Skills for Life pack


Includes guides for union reps on reading,
numeracy, ESOL and dyslexia.

Supporting Learners pack


Includes guides for union reps on why and how
union reps should support learners, sources of help,
role and skills of the union rep.

Working for learners unionlearn 75


>> Resources

Train to Gain pack


Includes fact sheets for union reps on funding, skills
brokers and the TUC/LSC protocol.

The Learning Rep


A quarterly magazine including articles and up-to-date
information on union-led learning that is sent to all
ULRs on the national unionlearn database.

Unionlearn directory
Includes list of TUC Education programmes and centres.

76 unionlearn Working for learners


Contacts <<

English regions

Midlands North West


t 0121 236 44 54 t 0151 236 7678
f 0121 236 7234 f 0151 236 2331
24 Livery Street Suite 506-510
Birmingham B3 2PA The Cotton Exchange
Old Hall Street
Regional education officer Liverpool L3 9UD
Peter Try
e ptry@tuc.org.uk Regional education officer
Pete Holland
Regional union e pholland@tuc.org.uk
development coordinator
Gary O’Donnell Regional union
e godonnell@tuc.org.uk development coordinator
Tony Saunders
e tsaunders@tuc.org.uk

Northern Southern & Eastern


t 0191 232 3175 t 020 7467 1238
f 0191 232 3190 f 020 7637 1823
5th Floor Commercial Congress House
Union House Great Russell Street
39 Pilgrim Street London WC1B 3LS
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 6QE Regional education officer
Angela Perry & Rob
Regional education officer Hancock
Ian West e apery@tuc.org.uk and
e iwest@tuc.org.uk e rhancock@tuc.org.uk

Regional union Regional union


development coordinator development coordinator
Elizabeth Killoran Jon Tennison
e ekilloran@tuc.org.uk e jtennison@tuc.org.uk

Working for learners unionlearn 77


>> Contacts

South West Yorkshire & Humberside


t 0117 947 0521 t 0113 242 9296
f 0117 947 0523 f 0113 244 1161
Ground Floor Regional TUC Office
Church House, Church 3rd Floor
Road, Filton 33 Park Place
Bristol BS34 7BD Leeds LS1 2RY

Regional education officer Regional education officer


Marie Hughes Trevor Sargison
e mhughes@tuc.org.uk e targison@tuc.org.uk

Regional union Regional union


development coordinator development coordinator
Ros Etheridge Sharon Burke
e retheridge@tuc.org.uk e sburke@tuc.org.uk

78 unionlearn Working for learners


Contacts <<

Wales Scotland
t 029 2034 7010 t 0141 221 8545
f 029 2022 1940 f 0141 221 8575
Transport House 4th Floor
1 Cathedral Road John Smith House
Cardiff CF11 9SD 141-165 West Regent Street
Glasgow G2 4RZ
Regional education officer
Julie Cook Regional education officer
e jcook@tuc.org.uk Harry Cunningham
e hcunningham@tuc.org.uk

Northern Ireland
t 02890 247 940
ICTU Carlin House
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Belfast BT1 2FN

Regional education officer


Clare Moore
e clare.moore@ictuni.org

Working for learners unionlearn 79


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Published December 2007

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Cover picture: Mark Thompson