The best way to look at sustainability is that it's what happens when work which, although initially externally funded, adapts so that it routinely continues and looks after itself without ongoing funding.
In the context of ULF, the important thing will be for the union role in learning and skills to get ongoing support from unions, employers and partners to enable it to continue and grow. Your project can help gain the commitment and understanding of your union to:
- Ensure that union officers and structures routinely involve and support ULRs as part and parcel of workplace organisation and union democracy
- Enable all union officers and union representatives to incorporate union learning into their role when bargaining
- Embed the role of ULRs into the constitution of the union at all levels
The findings from your project can be a key part of making the case for unions and learning with employers, stakeholders and providers. You may want to gather case studies and evidence for why working with unions on learning and skills adds value to their organisation’s objectives. You may wish to give particular thought as to how you might encourage learners to continue to progress, how that progress might be tracked, and the difference learning has made to those individuals and their organisation as this forms a large part of building the business case.
Perhaps too there may be very useful developments that your project has helped to drive forward and which it will be important to maintain. For example, the project may have supported setting up a ULR network and developed relationships with learning providers which will help to take the learning and skills agenda forward.