Union Learning Reps (ULRs) are the invaluable asset that helps unions reach learners. Together with WULF they can support a range of learning opportunities including digital literacy, bespoke professional courses and help during career or organisational change. Within their workplace a ULR will:
If you are interested in becoming a Union Learning Rep talk to your branch secretary.
Our new union learning representative (ULR) toolkit will assist ULRs in supporting the development of learning in the workplace and the wider community.
The ULR role is increasingly needed and is a key part of any trade union’s work. It is an essential factor in improving the lives of hundreds of people every year both in the workplace and beyond.
We are lucky in Wales to be able to work closely with Welsh Government in ensuring access to funding and the highlighting of the true benefits of learning and skills development.
The ULR training you receive from our trade union education tutors will give you the initial skills and tools you need to begin your journey in this vital role. This toolkit does not replace that training but provides you with quick reference materials, key facts and tips to assist in your duties as a ULR.
“I recognise that ULRs are volunteers and would like to thank you for your tireless efforts to support people into learning and ultimately help us in Welsh Government work towards our shared goal of supporting people into high quality, sustainable employment.” Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales.
Union learning has an impact on everything that unions stand for. It can help improve Heath and Safety, equality of opportunity, job security and pay.
Trade unions can play a major role in making sure members have the skills needed to compete in the jobs of the future. Many of our future economic challenges, such as digitalisation and automation, can be addressed through learning and skills.
The Wales TUC has led the way in union learning for over 20 years. We support our affiliated unions and their Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF) projects. These learning projects range from Essential Skills and reading to plumbing and make-up artist qualifications. Because they work through unions and the workplace, WULF projects find learners which other funds can't reach. They support those who need help the most.
You can still do training as part of a Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF) projects during the coronavirus crisis - visit our page about WULF to find out more.
The Wales TUC is currently campaigning to make learning and skills part of making Wales a ‘Fair Work Nation’ . By supporting members with their learning we improve their job prospects and they gain the skills they need. But there are also wider benefits - WULF can create a more skilled workforce and improve the economy.
Watch our video about WULF to find out more.
Surveying or mapping your workplace and colleagues is a major undertaking and can be intimidating.
It doesn’t need to be though.
There are so many apps and programmes available for free these days that make a survey easy to produce, easy to share and more importantly easy to collate the information you gather into a suitable report for sharing with management/HR or your WULF PM (Wales Union Learning Fund, Project Manager).
The biggest tip is to keep things simple. Have a clear outline of what you want to know and how much you would be willing to complete yourself. No one wants to write essays or reams of information to answer questions and they certainly wont want to take an age to fill one out.
Utilise the capabilities of the app you have chosen. Most of these modern applications have built-in processes which allow production of graphs and quick collation of data automatically. Why re-invent the wheel?
If the application you have chosen does this for you it will save you time, effort and stress.
These processes also make presenting your findings easier. They are clear and easy to read, halving your workload and clearly showing areas which may create learning opportunities for your colleagues or gaps in skills that management may not have been aware of.
Remember that learning and training don’t just help the learner but the employer too and the community at large.
A happy and successful staff member makes a more productive staff member, a happier and more efficient workplace and that has a knock-on effect everywhere.
The presentation below highlights key areas to consider when starting out, sharing your survey and your findings and there is an example survey below to assist in getting you started.
Lastly, remember that your WULF PM is a valuable resource and is there to help as are the staff at the Wales TUC.