Bolton Metro Branch Talks About Lifelong Learning

This is a piece which appeared in the branch’s “Battling For Bolton” publication from Lifelong Learning Coordinator Sue Vickers – it sums up nicely the work towards and aims we have for Lifelong Learning:

What is Lifelong Learning?

Life Long Learning has been described as being about: personal fulfilment and enterprise, employability and adaptability, active citizenship and social inclusion. What does that mean?

For UNISON it means trying to encourage a culture in which education and training is available and accessible for everyone, inclusive of everyone and supportive of everyone.

UNISON has been at the forefront of developing Lifelong Learning for people called non-traditional learners.  People who may have had a poor experience of learning in the past, or who lack confidence in their own abilities or who feel school was so long ago that they could never study again.

Learning via UNISON doesn’t mean just getting the skills needed to do a particular job. Lifelong Learning means learning in the broadest sense, gaining skills and confidence to progress and participate in work, in the wider community and in the union.

The Learning Agenda is helping UNISON develop a unique approach – offering new opportunities to our members, organise around key issues like lack of access to training, and recruit new members and activists around a positive agenda.

 UNISON wants to make sure that as many members as possible have opportunities for learning at work. This is why UNISON has put so much time and money into the development of the Return to Learn programme. Increasingly Return to Learn is being delivered in the workplace through partnership with the employers and the Workers Educational Association, reaching many of the ‘non-traditional learners’.

 As part of this approach UNISON has developed the role of Union Learning Representative/Co-ordinator, which role I’ve been active in for five years and I am working with our Regional Learning Officer, Steve Swift, to promote Unison’s Lifelong Learning programme in Bolton.  Steve has undoubtedly been the guiding light not just for me in Bolton but for LLL Officers all over the NW.  Since his appointment LLL has really taken shape, purpose and direction.

Courses recently promoted include:

Learning for Disabled Members inc Dyslexia training

Mental Health/Stress Awareness

Money Management

Political Education and Social History Workshops.

Introduction to Study” – short courses

 To conclude, LLL is versatile and flexible – As Bolton’s LLL Officer I’ll do my best to match you with the course – vocational, non-vocational, bespoke, – you’re looking for, so get in touch!

 And a lot of courses are open to non-members so don’t think you’re excluded – contact me and see what UNISON and Lifelong Learning can do for you!

Sue (fourth from the left) and learning collegues at a recent learning stall in the town square

Sue (fourth from the left) and learning collegues at a recent learning stall in the town square

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