Our Autumn Festival of Learning will help upskill for the upturn

This Autumn unionlearn are running a 10-week Festival of Learning that is packed full of campaign weeks, webinars, regional supporting learners events, exciting activities and much more.


Our Autumn Festival of Learning will help upskill for the upturn

The festival started in mid-September with a high profile, and very popular, webinar that focused on skills and the recovery and looked at the ways that unions can support the learning at work to help the economy build back better.

But this was just the start and over the coming months the Festival will feature a number of key annual events in the unionlearn calendar that will be moving online in these strange and socially distanced times.

The main event will be the unionlearn 2020 Annual Conference, and work is already underway to make this a must-see morning of speakers, workshops, awards and networking opportunities. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady and Mary Bousted, Chair of the unionlearn board have already confirmed their attendance – and further announcements will be made over the coming weeks.

Many union learning reps across the country can find it difficult to attend this annual gathering of reps, unions and learning providers, but we hope that by bringing it online, even if only for one year, will offer an opportunity for people unable to normally attend due to work commitments and distance to get involved.

The other core events are the annual series of regional virtual Supporting Learners sessions. We have already held successful events in Yorkshire and The Humber, the North West and the Midlands – but with sessions for the London, Eastern and South-East, Northern and South West lined up there will be no excuse to miss out – and if you couldn’t make the session local to you, I’m sure colleagues over the border would be very happy to welcome you.

Webinars have become a big thing in today’s world of online meetings and the series of webinars that unionlearn started running over the summer as part of the Learning at Home Campaign will continue throughout our Autumn Festival of Learning. These sessions will be joined by a series of interactive learning sessions, and really offer a fantastic opportunity to find out about the latest resources and what is on offer to workplace learners.

More sessions are being added all the time, but so far sessions include:

Speaking about the brand new “Create your own Future” tool – there is a series of briefing workshops planned in November which will be the ideal chance to find out more about the tool and how it can help you support your learners.

As the unionlearn Autumn Festival of Learning runs across September to November it will act as an umbrella for a number of annual campaign weeks, such as Maths Workout Week and Get Online Week, providing an opportunity to showcase the wide range of resources and publications available from unionlearn and our partners.

During these weeks we will be posting lots of case studies, blogs and links to resources – and, as always, we are very keen to hear your story – so please send any ideas for case studies to me and I’ll look at posting it on the unionlearn website.   

Everyone at unionlearn is really excited about this new festival and we hope you find it a useful way to promote learning in your workplaces.

You can find out more about it at the Festival of Learning page, but please get in touch and tell us what you think and if there is anything you’d like to see included.

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Keith Hatch

Keith Hatch is a unionlearn Projects Support Officer covering communications and the unionlearn website and social media platforms.

Keith is always on the lookout for a good story to show the work that unions do supporting workplace learning and skills.