Inclusive Learning Bulletin February 2021

Boost your skills, feel more secure

A new functional skills drive underway in the East Midlands is helping UNISON learners enrol on the English and maths courses they need to feel more secure about their future in an uncertain world.

They start by assessing their skills online using digital tools offered by their local provider. In Lincolnshire, 42 people took the skills check; 37 in Nottinghamshire; 59 in Northamptonshire; 79 in Derbyshire; and 81 in Leicestershire.

Once they receive their results, they are given impartial advice and an opportunity to enrol on an online functional skills course. In Northamptonshire, 34 learners enrolled on English and / or maths courses through Lincoln University (many did both), and there are similarly high conversion rates across the region.

“One of the things we can do as a union is give people more confidence in their ability to cope with a very uncertain future. Gaining a functional skills qualification overcomes a major barrier when so many jobs are at risk across the region and the whole country,” says Regional Learning and Development Organiser Gavin McCann.

“This has been a great success because it provides very easy access. However, the digital divide means that many are still missing out and so the brilliant ULRs can really help in the workplace.”

• You can encourage learners to assess their English skills through unionlearn’s SkillCheck (using the web version or the apps available for Apple or Android smartphones). Find out more here

• Reading Ahead 2021 has just been launched – and for the very first time, you’ll be able to run the reading campaign digitally in your workplace. You can also run it using the original print-based format or even a combination of both! Find out more here

• Unionlearn is running a writing workshop and a punctuation day as part of Literacy Works Week from Monday 8 March. Full details will be posted on the unionlearn Events page

Save the date!

Wednesday 17 March

The Next Chapter of UNISON Learning

Online event with General Secretary Christina McAnea and Assistant General Secretary Roger McKenzie.

Find out more here

Dates for your diary

• International Women’s Day. Monday 8 March. This year’s theme is Choose To Challenge. Click here

• World Poetry Day. Sunday 21 March. UNESCO day to celebrate the power of poetry to communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures. Click here

Debt Awareness Week. Monday 22 – Sunday 28 March 2021. Annual campaign by StepChange Debt Charity to open up the conversation around debt and encourage people who need help or advice to seek it out. Click here