Supporting learning

Two people in outdoor clothing holding green bags with slogan '

There are many reasons to get involved in promoting and supporting UNISON learning and training.

Maybe you’ve experienced the benefits of union learning yourself and want to help more people take advantage of the opportunity.

Maybe activists in your branch have told you that they don’t feel confident carrying out their responsibilities.

Maybe you’re dealing with an issue in your branch and it’s highlighted a learning need.

This page is your starting point for supporting learning as a UNISON activist or organiser.

What do you want to do?

I want to help colleagues learn

UNISON learning reps (ULRs) are volunteers who are willing to support and encourage their colleagues with learning in the workplace. It’s one of the most rewarding roles in UNISON, and there are plenty of resources and support available to help you.

Supporting members as a UNISON learning rep

I want to help other learning reps work better together

If your branch has a strong team of learning reps, it might be time to elect a lifelong learning coordinator to ensure that they work well together and that member learning activity is tied in with the branch’s priorities.

Supporting ULRs as a lifelong learning coordinator

I want to help activists get the training they need

The branch education coordinator has oversight of activist training within a branch. They help new activists get booked onto their introductory training and help more experienced activists explore their training needs and find suitable courses.

Supporting activists as a branch education coordinator

You can also support new activists as a mentor. As they undertake their training and their first actions representing UNISON, an experienced colleague acting as a mentor and using the Trained & Active plan can provide a world of encouragement and reassurance.

Trained & Active

I want to use learning to organise in my workplace, branch or region

Learning can be a fantastic organising tool. It’s a positive offer, a great draw for workers who might not immediately see the benefits of belonging to a union. And if there are particular issues in a workplace, it may be possible to use learning to address them.

Find out more

I want to know how to set up a learning event

Whether you’re thinking of running a half-hour workshop or a multi-day course, there are many practical questions to consider. Our checklist takes you through them.

Running a learning event

I want to know more about learning agreements

An agreement between your employer and UNISON, setting out the shared principles around learning in the workplace, may already exist. Or you may want to work with your branch and region to put one in place.

Learning agreements: what you need to know

I’m looking for UNISON learning resources

We have a wealth of guides, toolkits, and other resources to help you organise and promote learning. There are also brilliant resources produced by other organisations. We link to all of those in our A-Z.

A-Z of learning resources

If you’re a UNISON activist or member of staff, why not join the Organising Space? You can share experience or ask for advice in the Organising Through Learning community, and browse a huge collection of resources under Learning and Development. Log in using your My.UNISON account.

Organising Space