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>> Spring 10

Are you ready! for Learning at Work Day 2010 on the theme of ‘Creating Connections’ 1 Join our facebook group at!/group.php?gid=379831488155

“Welcome to the Spring edition of

Contents ”

Recent times have been testing and difficult for working people as they have struggled to keep their heads above water in the face of economic and political uncertainty. The skills agenda is as relevant as ever in this environment and it is a timely point for Hilary Benn to reflect upon the success of the Union Learning Fund. The skills landscape changes have been on the horizon for a long time but are finally with us. In this edition we welcome David Hodges, the new Regional Skills Director of the Employer Skills Services for the Skills Funding Agency, and outline some of the new bodies and initiatives associated with the skills agenda across Yorkshire and the Humber. We also highlight the work of trade unions across the region that helped celebrate informal adult learning during the Learning Revolution in October 2009. This will hopefully provide inspiration for union learning representatives that want to become involved in similar activity later this year. Our case studies examine some of the work that unions, such as, GMB, RMT, TSSA, and Unite have been doing in the workplaces. There is also a small feature on Northern College. For workplace and union learning representatives there is information about the new right to request time to train, which is being launched at a special event at Congress House, London on April 8th. Information about the union learning representatives’ courses is also here – so if you haven’t been trained don’t delay! It is time once again for budding authors to enter our annual writing competition. This year the winner will not only receive a cheque for £100 but will also be offered a place on one of our regional writing workshops with author Ian Clayton! Finally, there is an opportunity to publicly reward someone who has made an outstanding contribution to trade union learning in the past year; someone who has brought opportunities to their colleagues through their trade union activity, by nominating them for the Regional Learning Award.

Alan Roe – Regional Manager 2

2 3 4 5-6 6 7 8 9 10-11 12-13 13 14 15

Contents and Welcome from Alan Roe


Case Study: Introducion to the ITQ Pilot at Network Rail

18 19-20

Case Study: RMT Learning Bursary

20 21

Phil Beaumont, Castleford


The Road to Recovery starts in Castleford

23 24 25

Money Matters with the FSA


NEW Union Learning Representatives Courses


Union Learning Representatives Courses April ’09 to March ’10

28 29 30 31

Haiti Earthquake Appeal

The Union Learning Fund – Hilary Benn New Dawn for Skills Landscape A Word from the LSC Learning at Work Day 2010 The National Apprenticeship Service Skills Accounts Learning clubs and groups Feature – We Joined the Revolution Case Study: Dorian Masters – Arriva First Bus – Learning on the Run Case Study: Strength in Numbers Case Study: Advice, Guidance & Support in Network Rail – Leeds

Case Study: Upskilling in Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Ex Corus Employees Forge Ahead with Community

Right for Time to Train will Benefit All Launch of Right to Request Time to Train Project

Unionlearn Writing Competition Regional Learning Award Unionlearn Yorkshire and the Humber Contacts


Union Learning Fund

Over ten years after it was set up, we have come to take the Union Learning Fund for granted. It’s helped thousands of union members and has put learning at the heart of what the modern trade union movement is all about. And I have seen for myself what a difference it is making in our region. But I was also lucky enough to be in on its creation by David Blunkett back in 1998. Having worked for ASTMS and then MSF for over 20 years prior to becoming David’s special adviser, I had done a fair bit to promote workplace learning. And then suddenly one day, I found myself – thanks to David – in the Department of Education and Employment. We had a Labour Government and the chance to do things !

that from my parents, and in particular from my late mother Caroline who was a passionate advocate of comprehensive education and adult learning throughout the whole of her life. She used to say that we were still dealing with the legacy of a system that turned many people off education and made them feel that they weren’t able to achieve things. Nonsense, of course, and a pretty scandalous waste as well. But life teaches us that it’s never too late – and Union Learn is living, breathing proof of that.

As I recounted in an interview for The Learning Rep in 2008, I was sitting on the edge of my bed one day when the idea came to me for a fund which unions could use to get learning going in the workplace. Don’t ask me how it happened, it just did! The next day I went to David, explained the idea and he said ‘Yes’ straight away. David has a great passion for the power of learning to change people’s lives and the ULF would never have got off the ground if it hadn’t been for his vision, speed of decision, finding the money and making it all happen with his trademark determination.

A little while ago I had the chance to see for myself how union members at Leeds University are benefiting from union-led learning during a visit to the LOGIK Centre. I met union learning reps from Unite, UNISON and UCU as well as learners, and they were keen to tell me about how they had improved their skills at the learning centre. The centre has clearly been a great success. By supporting this union learning centre, Leeds University is opening its doors to a wider range of learners and offering opportunities for more people to change their lives through learning. The LOGIK Centre is an excellent example of how trade unions are helping people to improve their skills and their life chances.

The Department’s officials did a great job, but much is owed to Liz Smith of the TUC who guided the Fund though its early life and made it the great success it has turned out to be. Our aim was two-fold: to help people at work gain the new skills they need so that they can progress as individuals, and to enable trade unions to go to employers and encourage them to work in partnership.

We will shortly be plunging into the hurly-burly of an election campaign, but as I reflect on the achievements of the last 12 years the story of the Union Learning Fund is a really good reminder that we change things for the better if we put our minds to it. Let’s have some more, I say!

But what’s really special about it is the way it reaches inside those who have taken part and brings out the talent that is within each of us. People are capable of achieving extraordinary things if they are given the encouragement and the means. I learned

Hilary Benn MP 3

New Dawn for Skills Landscape The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill has received Royal Assent, paving the way for the dissolution of the Learning and Skills Council and giving the green light to the creation of the Young People’s Learning Agency and the Skills Funding Agency. Both new organisations will be fully operational from April 2010. The Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) will focus on helping every young person achieve their potential through learning. It will support local authorities in their new duties of ensuring a place in learning for all young people in their locality, of improving the quality of learning on offer and in managing the funding for 16-19 further education. Under the new arrangements, schools, colleges, training providers and other education delivery partners will liaise directly with local authorities.

young people are able to embark on high quality training. With the ambition to make sure that by 2013 young people participate in some form of education and training up to the age of 17, the challenge of refocusing resources to achieve this is an exciting one.” The Skills Funding Agency will be responsible for all publicly funded adult skills and training, not including higher education and for ensuring that people and businesses can access the skills they need. Working with colleges, training organisations, employers, Jobcentre Plus, local Government and regional development agencies, the SFA will play a central role in establishing the conditions for economic recovery and future growth by making sure that the economy is supported by high levels of skills and educated, entrepreneurial and talented people.

Andy Brown is set to be regional director of the YPLA in Yorkshire and the Humber. He said, “The Young People’s Learning Agency is really keen to help local authorities make sure that

David Hodges, who will be regional skills director of Employer Skills Services for the Skills Funding Agency said, “Our skills system must respond to demand, and anticipate and enable future growth. This is vital for the UK now, in recovery from recession and in the future as the UK grows and develops. Our work is to ensure that businesses get the skilled workers they need. Our challenge is to build and maintain a system that provides real benefits for the economy in a cost effective way.”

David Hodges


A Word from the LSC The Skills Funding Agency becomes operational on 1st April and has been designed to put the delivery of high quality service to learners and employers at its core. The Agency’s core value around the importance of understanding and delivering what customers need and being able to respond quickly to their feedback is at the heart of the way it operates at every level. The Agency’s main function will be to route funding swiftly, efficiently and securely to FE colleges and other providers, in response to employer and learner choice on programmes such as Train to Gain. It will operate through customer focused services:

The Skills Funding Agency is responsible for ensuring that people and businesses can access the skills they need to play their part in the economic recovery. It is a new agency integral to the new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), committed to building the new economy by establishing the conditions for economic recovery and growth.

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) – which has end to end responsibility for the apprenticeship programme;

The Agency is central to the Government’s plans for economic recovery and future success. Its contribution is to ensure that the economy is supported by high levels of skills and educated, entrepreneurial and talented people.

Employer Skills Services – a national skills service to all sizes of business in all sectors via Skills Funding Agency managed programmes – Train to Gain and the National Employer Service;

As a dedicated, single funding agency for adult skills, it will focus on delivering a better skills service. It will be able to respond quickly and flexibly to employers’ demand for skills through Train to Gain and the National Apprenticeship Service, ensuring the right skills are available in the right sectors and locations and to the right standard.

Learner Skills Services – including Skills Accounts, FE college and provider based funding, integrated employment and skills services for the unemployed, offender learning, informal adult learning etc.

The Agency will have centralised functions such as contracting and payment and enable resources to be more focused on delivering what employers and individuals need. It will also bring together all the skills services for business and adults Train to Gain, apprenticeships and the National Employer Service and as the single contractor for all publicly funded post-19 education and training (with the exception of Higher Education) the commissioning and funding arrangements will be simpler and employers and learners will find it easier to access the training they need.

The Skills Funding Agency will take a more demand-led approach to funding adult skills. A demand-led skills system is one that responds to demand for skills and training from employers and adults rather than trying to plan the supply. In funding terms this means FE colleges and training providers will receive funding as they recruit learners, rather than receiving a block grant based upon estimates of expected demand. This process allows the Agency to move funding to where the demand is greatest, rather than it being tied up where it isn’t needed.

Adult Advancement and Careers Service – a universal advice service for individuals, both in and out of work;


The Skills Funding Agency is determined that employers will have a strong voice in the new structures; nationally through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, sectorally through reformed Sector Skills Councils and sub-regionally through local Employment and Skills Boards. It will also work with employers and other key partners including Jobcentre Plus to secure the integration of programmes and services for the unemployed with those aimed at improving levels of skills and qualifications amongst the workforce. This integration will ensure all-round support for those who are seeking employment and for those who wish to improve their skills in work.

Train to Gain and Apprenticeships already operate in this demand-led fashion and we also have introduced a new Adult Learner Responsive funding approach that is more responsive to the choices being made by adults. For employers this new customer focus means that there will be no wrong door as they will be able to easily and swiftly access the skills support they need through Train to Gain. Independent and impartial advice on skills will be provided through one of two focused brokerage services; Business Link for small and medium sized businesses and the National Employer Service for those with over 5000 employees. Business Link is also the primary access channel to “Solutions for Business” the Government’s portfolio of business support products which includes Train to Gain and where employers are specifically thinking in terms of recruiting an apprentice then the National Apprenticeship Service is already available to help them fill their vacancy.

Anybody wishing to contact the Skills Funding Agency can access the Employer Services Team using the following LSC email address (which will automatically re-direct):

Learning at Work Day 2010 The Yorkshire and the Humber unionlearn team will be getting involved in the biggest annual celebration of workplace learning and will be supporting unions to reach out to their members and uncover new skills, build new partnerships and help reach your goals – all at the same time! Although National Learning at Work Day takes place on Thursday 20 May 2010.we have been able to support over 100 events which will take place during a three week window between 10th-28th May; this enables the team to attend and support many more of the events. Through the ULR network we aim to continue to draw attention to the importance of workplace learning and skills. Each year, thousands of organisations take part in Learning At Work Day and stage fun and business-related learning activities to help their staff learn new skills that they can put into action both at work and at home. Congratulations to all of the successful bids and we look forward to help put your event on the map. CWU Northallerton LAWD


The National Apprenticeship Service The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has responsibility for Apprenticeships in England.

Building on an incredible revitalization of Apprenticeships, the NAS has been designed to increase the number of Apprenticeship opportunities and provide a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners. They are simplifying the process of recruiting an Apprentice through Apprenticeship vacancies, an online webbased matching service.

“We know employers directly benefit from highly trained apprentices. The overwhelmingly positive results we have seen demonstrate how important it is to ensure NAS maintains and develops this great programme.”

We know employers directly benefit from highly trained apprentices. The overwhelmingly positive results we have seen demonstrate how important it is to ensure NAS maintains and develops this great programme. NAS works with unions to ensure apprentices get time off to study or train, receive impartial information, advice and guidance and are supported by a mentor. Most young people on Apprenticeships have employed status. All employed apprentices are covered by the terms and conditions contained in their contract of employment and any relevant employment legislation. Learners are entitled to their terms and conditions in writing. There should also be a contract of employment or training agreement in place.

Apprenticeships bring considerable value to organisations, employers, individuals and the economy. Businesses across the country are now increasingly realising the enormous benefits that Apprenticeships create, not only in terms of a highly skilled workforce but also by boosting productivity and staff retention. Research shows they are the best way of training, developing and skilling people for the future, helping employers secure people with the specific skills and qualities they need which were often not available on the external job market.

How to get involved Anyone wanting to find out more information, or to start the process of taking on an apprentice should call 08000 150 600 or go to


Skills Accounts What is a Skills Account? A Skills Account is a personalised online service that gives an individual direct access to skills and careers advice in a single, easily accessible place. Individuals can use their Skills Account to assess their skills needs, ďŹ nd details about their eligibility for government funding, access information on courses in their area and to record their future goals, skills and career achievements.

service to help customers. The opening of a Skills Account is part of a range of the services ffer as part of which nextstep offer their individual advice and guidance sessions.

Extension of the trials into Yorkshire and the Humber

A trial to develop Skills Accounts for people undertaking workplace training through Train to Gain is also being piloted in Yorkshire and the Humber this year.

Bradford College, East Riding College, Rotherham College of Art and Technology and York College are leading trials to provide Skills Accounts to 19+ learners. Each college is aiming to target 200 people to open a Skills Account during the current academic year. Once a college has registered interest in setting up a Skills Account then that learner will be sent

What’s next for Skills Accounts? Approximately 50,000 adults have requested a Skills Account since the LSC began trials in the South East and East Midlands in September 2008. Further pilots have since rolled out across England, and will support the new national careers and advice service when it launches later this year. Early feedback from trials is very positive, and recent surveys show 94% of participants think Skills Accounts are a good idea, and around 80% consider a Skills Account would encourage them to take part in future learning. Feedback from these trials will help to inform the ongoing development of the service, which is continually expanding. The vision is to offer Skills Accounts to all young people at 19, Train to Gain learners and apprentices. Skills Accounts are designed to allow learners to take control of their learning and over time will become a gateway for providing better access to information and a greater choice of learning and skills training.

information and instructions through the post on how to open an account online. In Yorkshire and the Humber, Skills Accounts are also being trialled for unemployed adults aged 18 and over. For those Jobcentre Plus (JCP) customers who need support to open a Skills Account this will be provided by nextstep, where careers advisers will offer a face to face

For further information, visit 8

Learning clubs and groups: Help and advice to make them work All the materials are designed to be printed off and photocopied so they can be used wherever groups meet. Because there are so many different types of learning groups, you can choose the information and resources that are most useful for your group. Most of the toolkit is about how to organise and run learning groups. There is also some information on resources for particular interest groups.

Who is it for? The toolkit is for any group or club that wants to organise its own learning. This could be a new group; an existing learning group; or learners already in classes or other formal learning groups who wish to organise their own informal groups. will provide you with an outline of the information and resources that are available to help you set up and run your own learning group. There are hundreds of informal learning groups already and all you need to set one up is the enthusiasm to learn and a group of people who want to get involved,

The toolkit will also be of use to those who work with groups that may want to set up their own learning activities.

How to use the toolkit

The National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) was asked by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to produce this website for groups who want to organise their own learning. The website and its resources have been developed in partnership with the University of the Third Age and other organisations involved in informal learning.

The toolkit can be accessed through the website at The toolkit is divided into seven sections. Each section is numbered. It includes checklists, information sheets, guidance and links to other resources that might be useful. Some sections contain templates for posters, checklists and other tools that groups can use and adapt to suit their needs.

What is informal adult learning? Informal learning is what people do every day learning from others about things that interest them. Many people learn in groups that are run by their own members, such as music groups, book clubs, health or ‘green’ groups, photographic or craft groups, motorbike or walking clubs and many others.

Do I need a computer? You will only need a computer to access the website and find information in the toolkit such as the ‘Funding’ and ‘Moving On’ sections. You can also print off what you want to use with your group;

What information does the toolkit contain?

Some groups may meet regularly and plan activities in advance. Others may be very informal. What they all have in common are people who enjoy learning together.

There are seven sections to the toolkit, each designed to work alone or as a progression. They are • How and where to start • Before the first meeting • Runnign the first meeting • Developing the group • Keeping the group fresh • Funding • Moving on

What is the online toolkit? The toolkit is a website that provides information and resources for adult learning groups. Some of these will be of help to new groups that are starling up. Other resources will be useful for groups who having been meeting for some time and want new ideas. 9


WE JOINED TH Unionlearn and Trade unions in Yorkshire and the Humber enthusiastically supported October’s festival encouraging learners to pick up new skills and get involved in informal learning. Here we feature some of the highlights from the many events held. Hull Princes Quay was treated to the Hull’s stra strains of African Drumming and then Salsa music for a day when unionlearn Sals took over a large empty shop and held too workshops on circus skills and African wo drumming, followed by a Salsa dance dru class. Led by expert teacher Sue cla Spice, this event attracted around Sp 170 people. Its success was summed 17 up by one dancer who said “This is u a great event! There’s nothing like music and dancing to bring the m ccommunity together, we’ve made new friends and had such fun”.

Two days of learning fun for the whole family were held at Castleford rd

Panthers RLFC and Hunslet Warriers RLFC. Activities included rugbyy coaching skills, a penalty shoot-out, graffiti-style painting workshops, ps, a British Sign language taster class, t-shirt painting, card making and nd salsa dancing. These days were very popular, particularly the graffiti workshops which had queues of youngsters all day long.


E REVOLUTION Black History Month was celebrated at the New Testament Church of God in Leeds over three days. The first included a presentation on Black History and a sketch about Black African history focusing relationships of women. Younger members on the inter-generational family relation church congregation then interviewed of the churc elders about their experiences of migration to Britain and their o memories of the places they left m behind. The second day included a b vvariety of workshops such as African dancing and drumming, West Indian da and African cookery, poetry, arts, an and singing. The day culminated an in a concert in which participants demonstrated their newly acquired de skills. ski

A creative workshop for Trade Union members was held at the unionlearn office, led by author, journalist and broadcaster Ian Clayton. Ian helped participants to develop personal experiences and anecdotes into powerful, personal, funny, tragic and compelling stories, building in them the skills and confidence to write for pleasure. p

Unionlearn organised a music and DJing workshop which took place in the street outside Marcia’s café in Leeds. This event was supported by Ikram Butt, ex-GB rugby international player and his organisation, Connecting Communities and by Leeds Rhinos, whose trophy is featured in the photo

Learn more at: 11


Dorian Masters • Arriva Chris Jackson unionlearn Project worker spoke to Dorian Masters unite ULR at Arriva Selby and asked him when, why and how he became a ULR. “The when and the how are easy, I was appointed ULR/NVQ assessor by a joint panel of Union Secretary and Management in Feb 2009. Although NVQ’s were being delivered by the company, nothing else was being done and apathy had set in. The company focused on the NVQ side of the role with me, and left my Union Secretary Richard Griffiths to arrange my ULR training, which he did through Unite the Union and last September I did my training in Leeds. The how goes something like this; I was inspired by Pam Stringer from unite and I decided to shake a big stick at it, believing in the message I’d been taught about education and Learning for all.

We have a waiting list for skills for life so this will be a major theme which I intend to introduce as part of our learning at work day event on 18th May. This event is supported by unionlearn and we are delighted that we have received funding towards the event and look forward to their help and assistance on the day.

Learning should be part of a community and I like to think that’s what we have here at Arriva Selby. – We are learning the skills and understanding to be constructive members of the union and the community, it’s like a family. It helps build a range of networks and relationships which bind us together; we want to work effectively to achieve common goals. Lifelong learning can provide opportunities for people to build trust and relationships by learning alongside each other including people from different backgrounds.

We have identified several very talented people including a young man who we are currently encouraging to do his ECDL and other things in higher education. This young mans’ future might not be driving buses who knows? At least he has the opportunity to move on and progress, and explore his options.

Since the early days and with the help and support of the Unite education staff and unionlearn and a couple of my local managers we have achieved a great deal including the following;

Not bad in a depot of 100 staff. I fully support personal learning – using learning to develop your identity, and take control of your work life balance. This can be something which can be developed through many kinds of learning, often it’s the way in which a subject is taught, rather than the subject itself.

22 NVQ’s already completed through the company’s training department. 5 are ongoing with another 23 on the waiting list. We now have 16 learners doing Skills for Life Literacy and Numeracy; 2 have already completed the national test at level 1 and a further 4 will complete in March. While others have completed ICT level 1 and are looking to progress to level 2.

Personally my development has gone through the roof and I have achieved NVQ level 3 in customer 12

CASE STUDY CORNER important Managers and more importantly, learners with a genuine desire to learn and better themselves and all I’ve done is to try to drive it all forward. It’s been great! and I am now looking forward to Learning at Work day and want to see the learning agenda spread far and wide across the Arriva network giving every member the opportunity in both vocational and non vocational learning. Its like Chris keeps telling me “Its not what you learn...”

service, ULR modules 1,2,3 and 4, I’m currently doing Literacy and Numeracy at level 2 and I’m halfway through doing my A1 assessors award. Pam has recommended that I’m put forward for teacher/tutor training (pettals) through the Union. I’ve been elected as ULR at the branch and I’m arranging training courses for our new branch officials and indeed existing officials. That’s called shaking a stick at it! Please don’t get me wrong. I have some fantastic support from Union staff and the branch, and of course unionlearn (thanks Chris) two very

First Bus – Learning on the Run Staff at First Bus in Yorkshire are amongst the first in the country to be involved in an innovative project that is recording their learning achievements using 3G technology. Working in conjunction with West Notts College, Unite ULRs have been trained in the use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) that have been made available to the drivers to use to support getting their qualifications.

devices and bring ULRs up to date on the mobile phone.

David Boulton of West Notts College said “This is the first time anybody has done this type of thing with bus drivers or in industry, using devices that people are familiar with and use in an educational way to support teaching and learning.” David said communications are a key element of the project and has set up a RSS newsfeed to update mobile

“This is the first time anybody has done this type of thing with bus drivers or industry.”

There are broad implications for staff training in gathering verifiable evidence of members learning and skills achievements. By using everyday devices in a different way First Bus drivers are getting qualified and seeing the benefits quicker.

““This This is is tthe he first time anybody has done this type e of thing with bus drivers orr industry.” David Boulton demonstrates the use of the PDAs to Unite Union Learning Representatives.

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Stronger as a Result ULR’s Keep the Momentum through the Depths of Recession Learning and Organising at work is strengthening union structures. Through learning agreements union members have the opportunity to get new skills that can improve their careers.

prompted the company to secure availability of the old boardroom which was situated in a building which has previously been relinquished to another organisation. Only a small number of employees are non union members but the opportunity to access learning was a tool used by both Andy & Paul to further reduce this anomaly.

Foundations The summer of 2008 saw the launch of workplace learning at precision motor component manufacturer Federal Mogul, Bradford. The development work required to reach this stage is the result of the efforts of Reps from both the recognised trade unions, Andy Walker Unite and Paul McCabe GMB. The highly successful Learning at Work Day of 2008 was the catalyst for raising workplace awareness of workplace learning and development.

The commencement of learning at Federal Mogul uncomfortably coincided with the onset of the recession which created some agreed shift reductions and periods of lay off. Whilst the overall situation was worrying for the workforce the company permitted learning to continue with paid time off the job to learn. The company fortunes did begin to improve, partly helped by the motor scrappage scheme boosting the demand for motor components which in turn necessitated the employer, to firstly to reduce the paid, time off aspect and ultimately withdraw altogether for courses in progress. This did not deter any learners from proceeding with their learning, quite the reverse in fact as the demand for advancement is required for the majority of learners.

The two ULR’s worked together to produce a comprehensive Learning Needs Survey which when issued, firstly, returned a high level of responses and secondly, revealed a healthy interest in learning across the wide spectrum of subject areas. The above was later complimented by the signing of a Learning Agreement based largely on the Unite model agreement between the Company and the recognised unions of Unite and GMB. The signing was incorporated into an event which included the presence of senior HR from the Federal Mogul Group, Unite Regional and Political Officer Dick Croft and the local and Unite sponsored MP Terry Rooney.

Looking Forward The ULR’s now feel the time may be right to devise a second survey in order to gauge colleagues current aspirations in light of recent experiences, languages are now regularly requested. During this period many colleagues have undertaken vocational learning provided by the company across a range of areas thus adding further to their skills, development and ultimately, their employability.

Andy and Paul both recruited an additional ULR, Craig McCormack for Unite and Martin Vipond for GMB respectively, this increased and thus enabled ULR cover across the working patterns operated by the employer.

Challenges for Company & ULR’s The logistics of learning on site was an issue due to the lack of suitable rooms etc, however, the number of members eager to commence courses



Advice, guidance & support in Network Rail – Leeds The Network Rail Leeds City Exchange office which is mostly concerned with timetabling and access planning is scheduled to move to Milton Keynes starting this summer and continuing over the next 18 or so months. This opens up opportunities and needs for training and careers advice and development. Several years ago I had been part of that team when they were still at York and thus, as a new TSSA Union Learning Rep, I chose to offer my services to members there first.

to desk which also allowed me to give greater publicity to my event. My only expense (of less than £2) were bowls with mixed wrapped sweets which provided opportunities to involve passersby in conversation. The stall was open from 10.30 to 16.00 and it was rather busy – I struggled to eat my sandwich in between enquiries. The most popular items were the free on-line courses by the Open University, Evening Courses in Leeds (which are not easy to find due to not being compiled into a single brochure) and the redundancy booklets which I sourced from the unionlearn website. Out of 120 surveys I received about 40 filled in. Out of that there are about 20 potential learners some of which are very committed and interested.

Due to the physical distance between my own desk in York and the Leeds offices I decided to run a small roadshow to introduce myself and the services I can offer. I contacted the manager of these offices and received a warm welcome and much support which was most encouraging. As I had no idea how well my roadshow would be received and as I did not want to go through laborious processes applying for funds I decided to run the whole event on a tiny budget. I prepared a lot of material to display and for people to take ‘home’ on subjects ranging from redundancy/career advice via evening courses to higher education. I also prepared learning surveys which I distributed by going from desk

I am now in Leeds once a week, holding a series of 1-to-1’s with these potential learners to identify and support their needs. As a consequence I have also been approached by members (and non-members) with queries on employment rights and problems at work. Some of these people didn’t realise they had a problem until they talked about their situation with an outside person. I feel that I have had a good start to my work as a ULR. I find the contact with members very rewarding, especially when they confide personal matters in me. The training I have received from TSSA has been good and so has the contact with fellow ULRs. I have become much more confident in myself and I wear my TSSA Rep badge with pride. Stephanie Pfuetzenreuter TSSA ULR



Introduction to the ITQ Pilot I took on the role of ULR in late 2008, as for many years both myself and my colleagues were frustrated at not being encouraged to learn and develop. Having seen through various publications what other ULRs in other companies were achieving in partnership with each other – promoting learning, training and development – I wanted to achieve nothing less for those people I was nominated to represent. Starting from scratch I had to sell the idea to local management despite there being no Learning Agreement in place. I decided to apply for funding to run an event in Adult Learners’ Week. With the help of RMT Learning I made a successful application for funding to run a learning event at Barnetby. The funding covered all costs and local managers gave great support and provided the use of rooms to hold the event. I contacted several providers with the understanding that those I represent are shift workers on a 24/7 railway. I only wanted providers that were flexible enough to fit around my learners and that were prepared to come out of their colleges to facilitate our learning needs,

not just at the start but throughout the course. It was Grimsby Institute that rose to the occasion providing tutors, taster sessions and materials. The day was a success and attended by over 100 people. Local management were delighted and really started to see the benefits to everyone engaging in and encouraging the Lifelong Learning drive. These benefits included the raising of staff morale, less absenteeism and self motivation from staff to up-skill, which opens up more promotional opportunities and aspirations to move forward. From the questionnaire filled out on the day it became clear that one of the most pressing skills gaps for a lot of people was IT. After extensive talks with the Grimsby Institute and Network Rail’s management, and tightly controlled safe site visits to signal box and other work locations, the framework for a bespoke ITQ Level 2 course (the equivalent of 5 GCSE’s grades A to C) was agreed.

“The day was a success and attended by over 100 people. Local management were delighted and really started to see the benefits to everyone engaging in and encouraging the Lifelong Learning drive.”

The qualification is being developed to include elements of the TRUST software used in signal boxes (for those that wish this element to be included but it is not compulsory) and 30 people for the pilot were sought. I organised an enrolment day that included opportunities to take a short Skills for Life test. Learners from all areas of grades from Crossing 16

at Network Rail Keepers to two area Line Operations Managers signed up, with skills ranging from beginners to Web Design. The cost of the course is a significant £39,000, which is being drawn down through Train to Gain at no cost to Network Rail or the learner.

by Tony Hutton the reasonable paid time off entitlement for ULRs in the absence of a Learning Agreement. We used the grievance procedure positively to establish not only time off for duties, but also time off for ULR training and development. Facility needs were also identified and provided by Network Rail which includes a desk, computer, safe secure filing system and access to a telephone.

This pilot has been successfully developed due to considerable joint working between a ULR and local managers and no stone was left unturned: • Course work both in print and on a USB Data Stick for each learner • Dedicated email address for support • Dedicated phone line number for ongoing support and questions • Small computer program provided so tutors can, at the learner’s request, log on and “see” where the learner is having a problem • Dedicated once a week central “drop in” centre, where a tutor is available • Full ULR ongoing support and what action needed to ensure course is meeting learners’ needs. The above is only achieved through good communication and having a common aim. We ran meetings to define what action needed to be taken and how best to utilise resources. During our planning stages there was a need to clarify

As a partnership we were thrilled to hear that local manager Dale Coupland had been nominated for an award titled The Extra Mile Award. Nominees for this award are selected for the vision they demonstrate and for benefits to business and staff. It was also for the exceptional support provided in order for quality learning to take place. Myself, local Network Rail Managers and Jen York from RMT Learning attended the black tie event and all were delighted when Dale Coupland’s name was read out as the winner. It just goes to show what great things can be achieved when ULRs and their local managers work together.



RMT Learning Bursary Giving practical support for learners The RMT Learning Bursary was set up in response to the fact that the cost of courses can be a major barrier to learning. Since its foundation the bursary has made a huge difference to the members who have received it. Applications have come from all sorts of members wanting to learn a variety of subjects from beginner’s level all the way up to university level. Andrew Hammond who works for Network Rail in the region is one member who has benefitted. Andrew is currently undertaking a City & Guilds Welding course at Grimsby Institute and gained assistance from the bursary scheme after his Lead Learning Rep Antony Hutton advised him of it. “The bursary grant from the RMT helped me to greatly improve my welding techniques in those areas where I had previously struggled. As well as the manual side I have developed a great understanding of the physics and processes behind welding. I would encourage anyone to apply for the bursary grant as it is so easy to do and is a great help.”

now be quite expensive. Having English as your second language can make it difficult for you to get on at work and make friends. Listening, speaking and reading skills in English can make all the difference. Sebastian Sciog, a bus driver for Stagecoach, said:

One of the key aims of the bursary is to help people to improve their English and maths. This is because without these subjects it can be difficult to take up other forms of learning. Although English and maths courses up to level 2 are free the bursary can help with some of the associated costs if needed.

“My ULR, Gary Lord, has been a great help and I feel so much more confident now that my English is improving”. A number of members are now undertaking Open University courses thanks to the RMT Learning Bursary. The subjects being studied vary from psychology to mathematics, and from business studies to law.

For some though, the next step of a GCSE is where help is needed – Bill Martin, branch secretary and conductor on South Eastern Railways, said:

Other applications include those for languages: Spanish is popular and one person is taking British Sign Language.

“After taking numeracy and literacy courses up to level 2, which are free, I wanted to get myself a proper GCSE –however, GCSE’s aren’t cheap and I’m so glad I was able to get some help from the RMT Learning Bursary”. Bill has since passed his English GCSE, grade A, no less, and is now looking for a GCSE maths course.

If you would like to learn something, but the cost is putting you off, talk to your local Union Learning Rep (ULR). Your local ULR can help you find the help you need for the right course and get any discounts due. They can also help you put in an application to the bursary fund.

Due to government cutbacks in funding, ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) can

For more information call Andrew Brattle, RMT Learning Administrator, 020 7529 8820. 18


Upskilling in Bradford Metropolitan District Council STAR has been working in partnership with unionlearn and the trade unions with a number of Local Authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber Region to help union member’s up-skill and to help the authorities meet their requirements for collecting and collating workforce data. • A high proportion of supervisors and middle managers who had received no formal supervisory or management training and although in positions of responsibility over other staff did not have the requisite skills to manage or supervise those staff effectively.

We have developed an online tool to help Local Authorities to collect the data they require by department to assist with meeting national minimum datasets, the Skills Pledge and other data requirements. The Integrated Skills Brokerage for the Public Sector Services is a support service funded by Yorkshire Forward. The service offers public sector organisations independent advice and guidance in undertaking a training needs analysis, sourcing training provision and possible funding for training.

STAR’s Senior Business Consultant Lee Reddington was assigned to the authority as a Skills Broker. From an initial meeting with Mike it was identified that in varying degrees these issues applied to over 2000 members of staff within Facilities Management. Lee suggested a number of approaches to these problems. This included setting up a service level agreement with a group of providers who would be able to address the problems identified through a combination of training programmes. These training programmes included Literacy and Numeracy training, NVQ Level 2 Team Leader, NVQ Level 3 First Line Manager, NVQ Levels 2 & 3 Customer Service, and NVQ Levels 2 & 3 Business Improvement Techniques.

Bradford Metropolitan District Council have benefitted after first getting in touch with the Service back in April 2008. Mike Gill from Education Contract Services (now part of Facilities Management) initially contacted the service in the hope that a comprehensive learning programme for staff could be developed. Mike, along with his colleagues had identified several issues within the catering and cleaning departments that could possibly have further ramifications throughout other areas of the Council:

All of these training programmes (depending upon individual eligibility) are capable of being fully funded through Train to Gain and Skills for Life funding which is a key area of involvement for unionlearn and the union learning reps.

• A large number of manual grade employees whose command of the English language was not sufficient to adequately meet the full requirements of their job roles.

It was agreed at this stage that Lee would identify potential training providers and introduce them to the Council. Discussions could then be held around how training would be delivered and identified with the prospective providers and

• An ageing workforce of supervisors and middle managers, specifically within school catering, and no staff coming through the ranks capable of stepping up to fill these positions. 19

CASE STUDY CORNER (Cont’d) attitudes towards partnership working could be assessed.

Further learners have been identified and are currently awaiting funding. STAR continues to work with the Council and the Providers in order to continue progress.

During the following months Bradford Council signed the Skills Pledge and held an event incorporating all six providers to plan the promotion and implementation of the skills strategy. A service level agreement was signed with all six partners and with the help of Val Priestley (Human Resources Officer – Bradford Council) each provider was assigned with a directorate to target. Regular provider group meetings were arranged where any problems could be raised and workload could be shared. This process has so far generated over 1800 learner referrals.

STAR’s representative, Lee Reddington attends monthly meetings with unionlearn and representatives from the trade unions unison, unite and GMB. “We are particularly pleased with the way we are able to work together and to meeting the needs of Authority staff and the way that each organisation is now consulting on moving forward and meeting their goals. It’s a very professional approach and one that we would like to further develop during 2010.”

Phil Beaumont, Castleford already looking at updating his IT skills with The Unite Centre in Castleford.

Phil first came to the Unite Centre Castleford in February 2009 and was already learning with the local college where he was studying Numeracy. He wanted to progress further by updating his Literacy skills but wanted a more flexible way of learning which would fit in around his working pattern. He was working as a Security Guard doing odd shift patterns so the flexibility of doing a course with Learndirect through our centre was ideal for him.

Phil said “The flexibility of learning with Learndirect through the Unite centre was ideal for my situation. I was able to work online in my own time and the courses were easy to follow. Any problems were dealt with on a one to one basis with my tutor at the centre so overall the learning was ideal for me” Phil is now looking at starting an IT course with the centre and hopes to have completed his numeracy level 2 course with the local college by the summer.

Phil knew he had areas of his literacy that needed to be addressed and on Initial Assessment these were highlighted. Phil was enrolled onto a level 1 Literacy programme of learning with some courses at EL3 to begin with, these areas being highlighted in a DfES diagnostic. Two courses at El3 and three courses at level 1 were completed by Phil and in September 2009 Phil passed his National Test in Literacy Level 1. Having grown in confidence from his National Test success Phil started on his level 2 and completed a second diagnostic from which a programme of learning was drawn up. After many months of preparation and learning through the centre the day finally arrived for Phil to sit his online Literacy test at Level 2 with City and Guilds. Although slightly nervous at first, Phil completed the test in good time and achieved a good pass mark to complete his first level 2 certificate. Phil is also well on his way to achieving his level 2 numeracy certificate with the local college and is

Phil Beaumont receiving his Level 2 literacy certificate from David Mitchell. RLO


Ex Corus Employees Forge Ahead with Community The green shoots of recovery might be visible now, and the fortunes of some businesses have improved in recent months; but trade unions in Yorkshire and the Humber are still dealing with the human cost of the recession. Indeed, Kevin Haige, who lost his job at the Stocksbridge plant said that this was one of the best things about the course:

More than 1500 people lost their jobs at Corus plants in Yorkshire and the Humber at the height of the economic slowdown, and so Communitas, the training and learning arm of the trade union Community, developed a course to help them cope with redundancy.

“They have a real world understanding of a redundant person’s problems. They can’t do enough for you.”

The Forging Ahead programme is funded by the Yorkshire and the Humber Learning and Skills Council, and is being delivered at the Community offices in Rotherham in partnership with the Redundancy Service.

Some of those who have already completed the course were presented with certificates by Community’s General Secretary, Michael Leahy OBE and John Healey, the Labour MP for the Wentworth constituency which includes the Aldwarke plant, at a special event in November 2009. For some, this was their first certificate for learning activities since leaving school. According to Emma Wallis, Forging Ahead Project Manager, this achievement cannot be overstated:

Forging Ahead includes sessions on CV writing and interview techniques, introductory computer skills, and money management amongst others, and also provides learners with information about vocational training opportunities as well as job openings in the local labour market.

“It’s taken an awful lot of guts for some of the participants to walk through our doors, but they’ve taken the first steps towards a new life after Corus. A number of participants have now gained alternative employment, and more than 50% have now been able to undertaken further training because we work in partnership with the Redundancy Service.”

Martin Bramhill, a former employee at Brinsworth Strip Mill explained how he had benefitted from the practical help provided by the course: “It opened my eyes to the available help and resources, and my CV looks a lot better now!” But there is much more to Forging Ahead than information and advice. The course is led by a team of former Community branch officials, including Bob Hudson who used to work for Corus himself until recently. Bob therefore has a good understanding of the emotional upheaval that accompanies redundancy, and as he explained, the course provides an informal, supportive environment in which participants can consider their options:

Brenda Barnett, who heads the Redundancy Service, explained that Forging Ahead had been particularly successful because participants undertook the course before, rather than after, redundancy: “The Redundancy Service can work with people when they’re under notice, and Forging Ahead participants have really benefitted from being able to use that time productively.” Endorsing this approach, Shaz Ghalib of the Learning and Skills Council also highlighted the contribution that Forging Ahead had made to the achievement of broader policy objectives in relation to learning and skills:

“These lads and lasses walk in here on a Monday with their heads down. It’s as if they’ve been hit by a tsunami; they don’t know what to do or where to go, but we help them gain a little bit of self confidence and self belief. We show them that they’re people with a lot to offer because they’ve gained a range of skills from their activities within and beyond the workplace. We give them a little bit of hope.”

“The LSC is pleased to work in partnership with a forward thinking trade union in order to deliver the government’s skills agenda.” 21

The Road to Recovery starts in Castleford Recession busting advice was on offer to the people of Castleford on Wednesday 24 March 2010 at the “Road to Recovery” event organised by unionlearn’s Skills: Recession & Recovery Project at the Castleford Community Learning Centre (CCLC).

“We are pleased to support this event and we really want to help people through this difficult period. Given the subject matter the day has been quite light hearted and I certainly enjoyed myself.”

The event concentrated on coping with the recession and associated issues such as redundancy, unemployment, health and money. Agencies were on hand to offer useful advice and information on learning, developing skills, employability, employment rights and volunteering. There was help with CVs, information on job searching as well as health advice from an NHS health trainer and advice on money, finance and IT taster sessions.

event has been a real success. Hopefully people will think about the advice offered and hopefully we will see them again, maybe to do a course”. The event was staffed by advisors from many organisations including NHS health trainers, Wakefield College, White Rose Credit Union, Voluntary Action Wakefield District, Morrish Solicitors and Wakefield and District Housing.

One of the people who attended said “I had great help with my CV on a personal level”. Another said “I now know how to start the computer from the IT session” and the event was well received by those who attended. Informal learning took the shape of a pizza making master class which was led by Margaret Handforth of CCLC who said: “We are pleased to support this event and we really want to help people through this difficult period. Given the subject matter the day has been quite light hearted and I certainly enjoyed myself. I feel that the 22

Money Matters with the FSA Unionlearn is working with the Financial Services es Authority (FSA), the UK’s financial regulator, as part of its Skills: Recession & Recovery project to help those facing redundancy or in danger of losing their job. Reps in the workplace have already been taking advantage of FSA’s offer to run free seminars at workplaces to provide guidance on:



anc Handbnod ok y

The free handbook covers everything from Putting yo dealing with ur finance s together job worries and redundancy g money and the rights, to managing entitlements you can claim.

• how to make the most of redundancy payments; • state benefits, for example Job Seekers’ Allowance, and tax; • debt management, budgeting and borrowing; • redundancy rights; • planning for retirement.

Logik Centre Manager & Unite Branch Chair Jo Westerman said

Staff who attended the free seminars held at the Logik Centre in the University of Leeds found them “useful” & “informative” and stated “the idea of bringing in external people on this subject is an excellent one”.

“The Redundancy Booklet is easy to read and is full of really useful contacts for further information. It’s a really good tool and I would recommend it to anyone facing the prospect of redundancy”.

The FSA has published a useful handbook providing information on how to manage personal finances during difficult times in the workplace. Many people during this recession have had their hours cut, some have lost their job and others face an uncertain future.

For further information on arranging seminars or to obtain copies of the handbook please contact Noella Mellad Skills: Recession and Recovery Development Worker on 0113 2429296 or

“The Redundancy Booklet is easy to read and is full of really useful contacts for further information. It’s a really good tool and I would recommend it to anyone facing the prospect of redundancy.” 23

Right for Time to Train will Benefit All Employees, employers and the economy all stand to benefit from the new right to request time off work for training. Alan Roe, unionlearn Regional Manager, said: ‘This new right could transform learning at work. Employers can, of course, say no but will need to show good reason. The similar right to request flexible working resulted in millions of employees making requests with over 90 per cent being agreed by employers. Knowing that they have the right to ask will encourage millions of employees, putting pressure on employers who don’t train to think again and helping all employees get a fair chance to improve their skills.’

their normal duties to undertake training that they believe will improve their performance and the business.

‘Union learning reps stand ready to help ensure requests are well made; and ensure employers consider requests properly. Individuals, employers, employees and the economy all stand to benefit from this new right.’

Employers will be able to turn down requests where there is a sound business reason to do so.

This can be undertaken on the employer’s premises or elsewhere, including at your home. It can be provided or supervised by your employer or by someone else, for example a course run by a college or other training provider, with or without someone supervising you and within or outside the UK.

Union Learning Reps will be working with employers to persuade them of the benefits of allowing their workforce time off their normal duties to improve their skills and learning. Employers will also be encouraged to make a contribution towards the training which will benefit the individual, employers and the economy.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills today (January 13) published guidelines on the new right to request time to train time-to-train: From April 6, 11 million employees in Great Britain will have a new right to ask for time away from

Under ‘time to train’, you will be able to request: • training leading to a qualification • training to help you develop skills relevant to your job, workplace or business

“This new right could transform learning at work. Employers can, of course, say no but will need to show good reason. The similar right to request flexible working resulted in millions of employees making requests with over 90 per cent being agreed by employers.”

• courses such as English for Speakers of Other Languages There is no time limit for the length of time that the study or training may take. The right will extend to employees working in businesses which employ 250 or more people. Only employees who have worked for 26 weeks will be eligible to make a request under the new right. The right will be extended to cover employees in businesses of all sizes in April 2011. 24

Launch of Right to Request Time to Train Project Date: Thursday, 8 April 2010 Time: 10:30 to 13:00 Location: Congress House, Great Russell Street, London The new right to request time to train comes into operation in April 2010. This is a significant date as the new right could potentially encourage very large numbers of union members to access learning. The previously introduced right to request flexible working helped millions of members to arrange work patterns around their needs, with reportedly over 90% of requests being agreed at the first time of asking. Of course this right to request time to train will be different but it could well have a similarly major impact.

awareness and confidence in using the right; and to make the links between exercising the right and organising around learning in the workplace. In addition, there will be a workshop for participants to consider how the right can help with organising strategies in sectors, regions and workplaces. Registration with refreshments from 10:30am, Lunch at 1pm.

New toolkit for ULRs A new toolkit to help union learning representatives promote use of the right will also be launched at the event. Printed copies of the guidance will be made available to event attendees.

To mark the new right coming into effect, the TUC has initiated a project to promote

An event for union officers, particularly those with an interest in organising around the learning agenda.

To register for this event or for more information email: or call 020 7079 6922

Speakers will include: • Frances O’Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary • Richard Blakeley, TUC Policy and Campaigns Officer leading on the Right to Request Time to Train • Tricia Hartley, Chief Executive of the Campaign for Learning. 25

NEW Union Learning Representatives Courses STAGE 1

• learning from professionals about new initiatives, learning opportunities, funding learning, IAG networks etc; • receiving an introduction to U-Net provision or visiting a U-Net Centre.

Aims To be able to work effectively as ULR you need to build a broad knowledge and understanding of education and training matters. Equally, if not more important, is a good understanding of how the union works and your workplace context.



Knowing who to talk to and when, who makes the decisions and how, what policies and guidelines can help is fundamental to ULRs making a successful case for members. This course will help you:

This course will help ULRs • review their follow up strategies from a Learning Needs Survey • understand how to work with providers & potential partners • develop strategies around learning and organising • further develop skills in supporting learners • work through learning projects (what, how, when, who etc ) • get things done at work • plan & develop a project relevant to the members learning

• understand union structures, and how your union organises around priorities and learning • build a broad perspective of where you fit in the scheme of things • find out about developments in learning and appreciate issues affecting learning • work with members and other reps to define priorities • take a planned approach to your own and your members’ development • develop the skills of putting the union case on learning • work collectively as part of the union team

• review & plan for own development needs

Who is the course for? This course is for all ULRs who have previously attended the TUC ULR or New ULR Stage 1 course or their own union ULR course.

NEW TUC Union Learning Representatives Stage 2 Course

Course Structure: • Pre-course activities


• Workplace activities

This course will provide ULRs with the opportunity to build on knowledge and skills developed in the new TUC ULR Stage 1, other initial ULR courses and in areas that are fundamental to their role. It is intended to replace many of the follow-on modules that existed in the previous ULR pathway and will provide ULRs with the opportunity to undertake an area of study relevant to their members learning needs.

• Review ILN surveys carried out since their ULR course and their experience of planning and recording their CPD (if applicable) • Group coursework activities • Workplace Learning Project - undertaken mainly away from the course with distance learning support from the tutor • Optional course activity – as outlined above – planned by the tutor

Additional activities can include: • visiting a workplace learning centre;

• Presenting project progress. 26


Stage 1 Five Day Union Learning Representatives Courses April to July Leeds City College

5 Tuesdays from 20 April

Bradford College

5 Wednesdays from 9 June

WEA Castleford

5 days, 10 to 14 May

Sheffield College

5 Thursdays from 10 June

East Riding College

5 Wednesdays from 14 April

East Riding College

September to December Leeds City College

5 Tuesdays from 2 November

Bradford College

To be confirmed

WEA Castleford

5 days, 4 to 8 October

Sheffield College

To be confirmed

East Riding College

5 Wednesdays from 22 September

January to March Leeds City College

5 Mondays from 10 January

Bradford College

To be confirmed

WEA Castleford

5 days, 7 to 11 March

Sheffield College

5 Thursdays from 20 January

East Riding College

5 Wednesdays from 2 March

Stage 2 Five Day Union Learning Representatives Course April to July WEA Castleford

5 days, 17 to 21 May

September to December WEA Castleford

5 days, 8 to 12 November

January to March WEA Castleford

5 days, 4 to 8 April 2011

Skills for Life and the Union Role East Riding College

3 Wednesdays from 14 July


Haiti Earthquake Appeal Shocked by the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti the TUC launched an appeal to raise funds for the victims. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Since the terrible earthquake struck, UK unions have sent thousands of pounds of desperately needed food, tents and essential medicines via TUC Aid to Haiti.” The unionlearn team in the region has run various fund raising events in partnership with affiliates and partners.

start a series of fund raising activities and raised £185. A raffle challenge across the region also took place with affiliates and partners selling tickets in workplaces and Learning centres. Unionlearn was able to supply the raffle prizes for each location which consists of a Basket of toiletries kindly donated by Robert McBride Ltd who specialise in cosmetics and toiletries.

The first was a successful coffee morning on Monday 25th January in the Regional office which was supported by Manor bakeries and a very busy member of staff who spent her weekend baking a wonderful range of cakes! And putting together the raffle prizes. This initial event was organised to kick

The fund-raising continues and here is just one of the success stories from the region. so I am not sure how he will manage to carry this all the way home.

Leading PCS ULRs Angela Hadfield and Kath Housley from PCS who work at the DWP in Sheffield In Sheffield raised almost £600 in donations from members for the Haiti Raffle.

Prize Winner 3 was Martin Joyce who works in Rockingham House, Sheffield. Martin was unfortunately unavailable for the photograph.

Pictured below is Prize Winner 1, Darren Taylor, who works in Porterbrook House Sheffield, with Kath Housley, ULR in DWP Head Office receiving his hamper of toiletries. We had to deliver it to him as it was far too heavy to carry!!!!

Kath and Angela would like to thank all DWP Head Office staff who donated or bought tickets for this really worthwhile cause and especially the help received from PCS colleagues. In particular Dave Robbie, Muriel D Lascelles, Stirling Hope L and a Kate Piggot who each took turns at e persuading staff to part p with w their money.

T sum raised was The £562.06 and was a £ ffantastic result. I am ssure this money will go a long way to g helping the victims of h the Haiti Earthquake. Well done to unionlearn for organising this and let us know what the final raffle total is when other Branches and Unions have completed their sales.

In the photograph on the right is Prize Winner 2 Tom Walker who works in King’s Court, Sheffield with Angela Hadfield, ULR and Branch Learning Officer in DWP Head Office, receiving his hamper of toiletries. Tom normally walks to work 28

Writing Writing Competition 2010 We would like you to enter our writing competition

Be creative, start writing and you could be in with a chance to win one of our top prizes

Your entry should be no longer than 1500 words and can take any form you like; fact or fiction, essay, story, play or poetry. Entrants must be over 16 years of age, be a member of a trade union and live or work in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. You must also be willing to have your entry published in a compilation book, along with all ensuing publicity.

1st prize ÂŁ100 Cash

Entries should be sent to (no stamp required)

TUC unionlearn Freepost RRSX-TRGB HKUG 33 Park Place Leeds LS1 2RY Or fax to 0113 2441161 Or email to For further information, please call 0113 2429296

Closing Date 30th July 2010 29









C O N TA C T S 33 Park Place, Leeds LS1 2RY tel: 0113 242 9296 fax: 0113 244 1161

Regional Manager Alan Roe tel: 0113 2001085

Regional Develoment Co-ordinator Sharon Burke tel: 0113 2001073

Regional Education OfďŹ cer Trevor Sargison tel: 0113 2001071

Development Worker Jim Scott tel: 0113 2001072

Development Worker Steve Bosworth tel: 0113 2001081

Union Development Project Worker Chris Jackson tel: 0113 2001076

Union Development Project Worker Gina Greenley tel: 0113 2001070

Development Worker Skills Recession and Recovery Noella Mellad tel: 0113 2001077

U-Net Support OfďŹ cer Mark Ball tel: 0113 2001075

Union Development Administrator Riki Wordsworth tel: 0113 200 1082

Education Administrators Dilys Beaumont tel: 0113 2001078 Linda Slattery tel: 0113 2001074


Northern College Providing Free Learning Opportunities in your workplace or at the College There is always an area of our life we all feel like we wish we had more confidence in. Would you like to improve your Literacy, Numeracy and IT skills? Northern College can offer you free training, either in your work place or at the College. We can offer a structured programme that will:

Improve or update your Literacy, Numeracy and IT skills. A nationally recognised qualification on completion of the course. Provide a qualified and dedicated tutor(s) to guide you through your learning. The chance to progress onto higher level qualifications Information Advice and Guidance throughout the course to support progress for each learner.

Want to know more then please contact the Northern College direct on 01226 77600 or e-mail Teresa Taylor: Northern College, Wentworth Castle, Stainborough, Barnsley S75 3ET

Union Learning News in Yorkshire and the Humber  

In this issue: The Union Learning Fund – Hilary Benn; New Dawn for Skills Landscape; A Word from the LSC; Learning at Work Day 2010; The Nat...