The branch education team


You can help to promote learning in the workplace by taking on the role of a union learning rep, branch education co-ordinator, digital champion or lifelong learning co-ordinator.

For more information, contact your branch, regional organiser, or regional education officer.

Find out more about the support and resources available to the branch education team.

Union Learning Rep

Union learning reps (ULRs) are volunteers who are willing to encourage and support other colleagues with learning in the workplace. Their duties might include:

  • raising awareness of lifelong learning issues in the workplace
  • offering support and encouragement to learners
  • encouraging learners to get involved in the branch
  • working with the branch to promote workplace learning with employers

You can find out more about the role of the union learning rep by completing our e-note.

More on the role of the union learning rep

Find out about training for union learning reps

Branch Education Co-ordinator

The branch education co-ordinator has oversight of activists’ education within the branch. Their duties might include:

  • working closely with the branch lifelong learning co-ordinator
  • making sure that all new stewards and safety representatives receive initial information and guidance about their duties
  • publicising the range of educational and training opportunities available to members and activists
  • getting untrained stewards, safety representatives and other branch officers onto appropriate training courses
  • maintaining contact with the regional education officer
  • establishing a plan of training for activists and producing an annual budget to meet its costs
  • keeping records of what training has been undertaken, and by whom, within the branch
  • making sure that activists get paid time off for training where appropriate

More on the role of the branch education co-ordinator

Find out more about training for branch education co-ordinators

Lifelong Learning Co-ordinator

The branch lifelong learning co-ordinator leads a team of union learning reps, ensuring that they are accountable and involved in the branch and that learning is high on the branch’s agenda and linked into its organising, bargaining and equalities work.

It is an ideal role for a union learning rep who wants to become more involved in other aspects of branch activity.

A lifelong learning co-ordinator’s duties might include:

  • working closely with the branch education co-ordinator
  • co-ordinating the activity of learning reps in the branch education team
  • working with colleagues to recruit new learning reps
  • being closely involved in negotiating around learning with the employer
  • co-ordinating and disseminating information on learning opportunities in the branch
  • ensuring that the work of learning reps is fully integrated into the branch

More on the role of the lifelong learning co-ordinator

Find out more about training for lifelong learning co-ordinators

Digital Champion

Digital Champions are volunteers in the workplace who have the time and skills to support colleagues learn basic digital skills, gain digital confidence and overcome barriers to becoming digitally active. The role is an add-on to the ULR role, though it may be appropriate for some other UNISON activists to become digital champions as well.

Their duties might include:

  • Show a colleague how carry out digital tasks e.g. access a digital pay slip
  • Running digital learning activities for groups or individuals
  • Supporting people to access online learning
  • Supporting your branch to engage members digitally

More on the role of the digital champion

Photograph © Jess Hurd/