Case Studies

Supporting Communities to "Try This"

18 November 2014 South West

This autumn Dorset’s county town, Dorchester, was buzzing with over 40 different free learning sessions as the Try This community skills share festival entered its second year - becoming a regular fixture on the county calendar.

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Raising awareness at work of Dementia

14 October 2014 South West

Unionlearn has been working with Tribal Education to offer paperbased Level 2 courses. These are becoming very popular, not only improving work related skills but also outside interests. Many focus on health related subjects, and one person who decided to give a Tribal course a go was Mary Sherwood.

Mary is a Prospect member and Project Manager at the Met Office in Exeter, and is a Dementia Friends Champion, promoting awareness of the condition, both at work and in the wider community.

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Exeter unions hold exhibition on working lives during WW1

10 October 2014 South West

More than 200 people visited an exhibition showing how working people were affected by the First World War.

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Rail Industry IT Apprenticeships

08 October 2014 Midlands

However keen rail workers are to return to learning, it can be an uphill battle. Changing shift patterns means that for most, attending a traditional evening class or daytime course at a local college is out of the question.

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Leicester City Council - a model employer for supporting union-led learning

06 October 2014 Midlands

Leicester City Council (LCC) and its union learning representatives (ULRs) pretty much tick all the boxes for union-led learning best practice, promoting learning at every opportunity. The local authority has signed a learning agreement with the trade unions providing exemplary facilities for ULRs including a designated ULR room and regular monthly Lifelong Learning Forum meetings.

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ESOL Success with Joint Learning Initiative

24 September 2014

A distribution centre in Kent has been a pilot site for a joint learning initiative between the company and Usdaw. And learning really took off since the signing of the learning agreement and launch of the on-site learning centre.

“We spent a lot of time getting the agreement right” says Ann Murphy, Usdaw’s national ULF project manager, “but I think it was time well spent judging by the progress we have made so far.”

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Sasa’s Journey

24 September 2014

Sasa Gunyho has literally and figuratively come a long way.

He was born in Hungary and came to England in 2007 and soon started work for Tesco in 2008. He came to England with some knowledge of English, but despite his sociable nature and lack of shyness he found it hard to communicate, although he could usually make himself understood.

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Natasha Love – ESOL champion

24 September 2014

Union Leaning Reps (ULRs) help learners in so many ways. Take the work that lorry driver Natasha Love is doing in Sittingbourne.

“I’ve always been an Usdaw member but never really got involved before,” says Natasha, ” then one of my friends saw the poster in the canteen asking for ULRs and recommended me . She said it would suit me down to the ground. It turns out she was right - though I hadn’t got the faintest idea what it involved!”

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Jacek Jachimowski

24 September 2014

When Jacek Jachimowski first came to England he worked as a nightshift cleaner but after a few months he found a better job as a warehouseman at the Coop Distribution Centre in Godmanchester near Cambridge.

When Jacek found out he could learn in the workplace he jumped at the chance of improving his skills. “I found speaking and reading English difficult so communicating at work was hard and I didn’t have a lot of confidence” remembers Jacek, “but as my English improved my confidence did too”

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Unions support Cornish Dairy workers facing redundancy

18 September 2014 South West

When Muller Wiseman Diaries announced the closure of their Pensilva site in Cornwall to move milk distribution to Somerset, with the loss of nearly 60 jobs, trade unions knew there was no time to waste.

USDAW represents workers at the site, and Learning Organiser Alan Shearn said “In redundancy situations the key is to get a training and support package in quickly so local knowledge is vital.  I knew I didn’t have this, being based 140 miles away in Bristol, but I knew someone who would’.  

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