Southport event kicks off Supporting Learners series

Last week unionlearn kicked off the first of its six Supporting Learners events in Southport. Union learning reps from around the North West came together to discuss how they have been supporting learners and consider how they will continue to help their unions, members and workplaces in the future.

TUC Regional Secretary, Lynn Collins, opened the day talking about skills in the North West: the challenges for the region, future skills needs, local projects and the union role. Lynn also encouraged everyone to actively join the TUC’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebrations.

Unionlearn’s Andy Moss swiftly followed with an update about all the new unionlearn resources and everyone was keen to share their experiences of support learners. Andy also encouraged everyone to share their views on unionlearn support by completing the unionlearn Stakeholder Survey. (To access the Stakeholder Survey, go to

Project Officer Jane Warwick presented a session on mentoring and encourage the conference to use the Value My Skills cards to think about what skills were needed to be a mentor and how these skills can be transferred to support apprentices, older workers and other reps.

The morning session was completed with a fun quiz delivered by Project Officer Louisa Smith. The questions were taken from the Measuring the success of union learning booklet and really highlighted the impact trade unions have.

The conference got really creative, in the afternoon, with new and interactive ways of using the new online Union Learning Reps 1 course from TUC Education. Tony Saunders gave the conference food for thought about how the course can supplement their own union programmes and act as an ongoing resource. It is freely available online and can be accessed by ULRs where and when most convenient and from a mobile, tablet or desktop computer. The course is also very useful as a refresher for ULRs who have been in post for some time. (To access TUC Education online courses, go to

The questions came thick and fast during apprenticeship question time faciliated by unionlearn Project Officer Matt Pointon and the conference really demonstrated their creativity during the maths session. Everyone was asked to join in activities that showed their learning style.

To book a place on the remaining Supporting Learners events go to