"Regardless of age, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability or the passport they hold, every worker should enjoy an equal chance to up-skill or learn something new at work." - Frances O'Grady, Breaking through the barriers"
Learning changes lives!
Learning changes lives. It also changes attitudes, provides better job prospects, transforms personal situations and breathes a new confidence into learners. Fundamental skills such as English, math and ICT help people to do their jobs, manage their homes, and enjoy their lives. However, many people are still not feeling the benefit of learning – the joy of reading to their children, the discovery of a new talent, or the simple pleasure of acquiring a whole new range of skills.
Why break down the barriers to learning?
Unlocking talent and skills benefits the individual, the workplace, the economy and society. It also makes for a fairer and more equal society, because education empowers and learning endures. People gain the confidence to challenge what they think is wrong and this can change society, attitudes and prejudices. So it's in all our interests for education to be accessed by all, in the fight against discrimination.
How can we overcome barriers to learning?
Barriers to learning may be based on background, personal circumstances, or learning disabilities such as dyslexia. These can all make it difficult to experiment with learning new skills, or to acquire basic skills. Basic skills include English skills such as reading and writing, and mathematics skills such as addition, subtraction, and long division. Unionlearn provides several resources on overcoming barriers to learning.
In this barriers to learning section:
- Common barriers to learning – the issues to consider when seeking to improve access to learning.
- Overcoming barriers to learning – how we can break down common barriers to learning.
- Equality and diversity – what's the difference? – highlighting the differences between equality and diversity and why both are important.
- ULRs: Champions of Equality – explaining the essence of the union learning rep and its role in promoting equality and diversity.
- Employers and unions working together – Information about the ways ULRs can work with employers to improve equality and diversity.
- More about the legislation – details about the Equality Act (2010).
- Mapping the workplace – practical steps to take to ensure that you're aware of the potential equality and diversity issues in the workplace.
- Guides for employers – further information from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
- Breaking through the barriers report – bringing together the voices of unions, partner organisations, practitioners and learners to highlight the range of barriers faced by many and to demonstrate what can be achieved through union learning.