Workplace Report March 2020

Learning and training news

UNISON provides online learning

Public services union UNISON is ensuring that its members continue to have access to training during the current coronavirus crisis. 

The union says: “We all need something positive and constructive to focus on in this difficult climate and we are pleased  to help members  continue  to improve and develop their knowledge and skills – and even add to their continuing professional development.”

UNISON has set up an online system to continue training for activists during the period of having to postpone all face-to-face training and learning opportunities for members.

One of the initiatives being taken has been to quadruple the capacity of its online course for new shop stewards. There are 100 places available which can be accessed for registration online via the union website.

These courses are supported by both a TUC tutor and a UNISON learning and organising staff member.

“We will be there to support you, especially if you’ve not considered or taken part in online learning before now,” the union said. “If you became a new steward in the last six months and haven’t yet taken part in the stewards’ induction training, UNISON will be in touch shortly about how to register for the online course.”

UNISON has  also  procured 100 licences for The Skills Academy for its members, which  give access to more than 550  free online  courses,  all of which are fully accredited for continuing professional development. These include industry specific training, general and personal skills development, health and wellbeing  training. These licences include unlimited access to all courses for 12 months and are completely free for members. 

The union already has a number of online learning resources available to all members including:

• an introduction to online security;

• dyslexia awareness;

• raising awareness — menopause in the workplace;

• raising awareness: mental health;

• everyday English, punctuation; and

• GCSE maths and English.

UNISON’s learning and organising staff will be working with colleagues across all its service groups over the coming days and weeks “to make sure we can provide the training our activists and reps need to keep their knowledge and skills up to date and carry out their union role”.

TUC Education’s eLearning modules are also available to help reps keep up to date on key workplace issues. There are a range of short bite-sized eNotes and longer eLearning courses. 

Each eNote is a self-contained module that contains a mixture of text, video and quizzes. They last between 20 and 45 minutes and can be returned to at any time.