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Union learning reps training launched by Community

23rd September 2019

“Unlocking the Union Learning Reps’ potential…”

Community recently launched its first ‘One-Day Community Learning Course’ for their Union Learning Reps (ULRs). The training course was delivered by Community Regional Organiser Matt Cooke and Learning Organiser Hannah Smith.

Community NEC Member Dougie Fairbairn opened the course and addressed the ULRs emphasising learning, training and education “is core to the agenda of working people” and Community’s purpose has been to help members “discover and develop their talents”.

Union learning reps training

Dougie Fairbairn introduces the course.

He stated the role of the ULR was crucial in making this a reality and “there is no better feeling than seeing someone progress at work, at home and in their community” as a result of skills they acquire through learning.

ULRs came together at Community’s Sheffield office in August to begin their journey as learning advocates.

The workshop covered a range of roles, responsibilities, support, benefits and barriers that ULRs need to be aware of. Once participants felt comfortable with their role, they shared benefits of being a ULR which included empowerment, heightened purpose in the workplace and stronger teamwork.
National Organiser for Community Learning, Sidra Nisa, said:

“The ULR is a very rewarding role which involves being responsible for promoting learning in the workplace, supporting colleagues as learners and networking to conduct learners needs analysis and respond to skills deficits.

“The new ULRs came along to rise to this challenge and they all shared their passion for learning and support to transform learner lives through upskilling.”

“Participants then did a great job of addressing any barriers they may come across to help them better prepare for their new role.”

The workshop included a range of interactive activities that helped participants think critically, reflect on their personal characteristics and begin to ‘action plan’ their duties.

Feedback from the workshop showed attendees were happy with the support Community is offering in this role with one saying the workshop “provided clarity on expectations and the support/resources available for us to use”.

Another rep added: “I have learnt that I have support of the other people and not to be afraid to ask for help”.

Looking ahead to the rollout of the courses, Sidra said:

“Community looks forward to unlocking the Union Learning Reps’ potential in their role in building an infrastructure focusing on skills development through learning of individuals and communities, meeting the needs of a modern workforce to boost social justice, productivity and the workers’ skills base.”

If you are interested in becoming a Union Learning Rep in your workplace or you’re already a ULR and want to take part in a one-day course, then email the team at and they’ll be in touch.