In recent years, the development of a new role for trade unions in promoting learning at work has had a significant impact on increasing motivation and enthusiasm for learning among employers and employees.

Trade unions have always seen learning and skills as being essential for their members and campaigned for the right of working people to develop themselves and to have access to education to help them with their careers and their lives generally. The trade union role in learning is continuing to grow. NIPSA is taking on a more active role within the movement and our union learning representatives are playing a key part in this. The ULR handbook is a useful resource for ULRs to help them give the fullest information and support to members. Click on the link below to download a copy of the Union Learning Reps Handbook.

The Benefits to Employees:
  • There are many advantages to employees in having Union Learning, such as:
  • Information about learning opportunities, that are available both inside and outside of work.
  • A source of reliable information about everyday training matters, as well as new and existing learning and skills initiatives such as Skills for Life, NVQs and Learndirect.

With a Union Learning Rep, employees have familiar face, someone who they know and who may have helped them in the past. A person who is completely independent, whose advice they can trust, who is properly trained and informed, capable of representing their learning needs and interests with their employer.

The opportunity to get advice in the familiar surroundings of the workplace.

The Benefits to Employers

All organisations benefit from having a skilled, trained and efficient workforce. Union Learning provides an opportunity to enable employees to update and acquire the new skills necessary in the world of work and beyond.

Union Learning helps organisations to:
  • Promote a positive attitude to learning and skills amongst employees.
  • Improve the skills and employability of the workforce, helping them to become more adaptable to change.
  • Increase participation in workplace learning.
  • Provide accessible independent advice and support for employees about learning, at shop level, where it is needed.
  • Introduce and help develop a “learning culture”, where training and education are highly valued in the workplace.