Learning at Work Week – a chance to promote union learning

Learning at Work Week – a chance to promote union learning

About the author: Keith Hatch

Keith Hatch

Keith Hatch is the Projects Support Communications Officer with unionlearn.

He is always on the look-out for news stories and case studies to highlight the great work that unions do supporting workplace learning.

Learning at Work Week has happened every May since 1999 and aims to highlight the importance, and benefits, of learning and development at work. This year, activities are planned from the 15th – 21st May on the theme 'Curious & Creative'.

All types and sizes of companies and organisations across the country are keen to mark Learning at Work Week and it has proved an ideal chance for union’s, and in particular Union Learning Reps (ULRs) and workplace Learning Centres to get involved and promote the resources and learning opportunities they organise in workplaces for staff.

As Learning at Work Week is a branded learning campaign it offers a way to get local workplace skills development work linked to a national event. Campaign for Learning – who organise the annual event – have a very useful website full of resources and ideas that can help your workplace learning event be a success.

Campaign for Learning says on its website that Learning at Work Week...

....promotes an inclusive approach and encourages the extension of opportunities to learn to all employees, especially those who may not currently participate in learning."

This is something that will strike a chord with many ULRs, and may also be an event that they can negotiate time and resources with employers keen to be involved in a national campaign with lots of media coverage.

In past years, examples of unions engaging during Learning at Work week include:

  • A week of health and wellbeing activities organised by PCS ULRs at Bournemouth Job Centre Plus
  • A UNISON learning flash mob promoting courses at Blackpool Hospital
  • Usdaw arranging for author Martina Cole to visit workplaces and promote the Six Book Challenge

Already lots of workplaces have events being planned, such as:

  • MerseyLearn are organising The Liverpool City Region Festival of Adult Learning on May 19th in The Museum of Liverpool
  • Unite holding a Learning For Life event at Tony Benn House in Bristol on May 16th

Unionlearn are also holding events focusing on English and maths skills in Birmingham and London during the weeks either side of Learning at Work Week. These will highlight ideas to engage workers in developing these skills.

Unionlearn has lots of resources available to help reps make their event a success, including Quick Reads and Value My Skills cards.

All in all it looks like it could be a busy month for ULRs and Learning Centres – and we’d love to hear about your events and stories to share on the unionlearn website and social media.

If you do have a story you would like to share with unionlearn, email me at [email protected]

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