We believe that access to learning is a fundamental human right. Education builds confidence and self-esteem, and gives people dignity. It is also key to succeeding in our changing world, where flexible skill development is becoming vital.
Community has an in-house team of Learning Organisers, dedicated to working with members and employers to increase access to learning and training opportunities for our members. Since establishing our learning and skills services, we have facilitated over 54,000 learning opportunities for Community members and other learners, and secured over £15.8 million of Government and European funding, to give members, their families and their local communities access to the best education, training and learning opportunities.
Community Learning Enquiries, Phoenix House, Bramley, Rotherham, S66 1TS
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org Phone -01709 547922
Until the mid-1990s, the interests of Community (then the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation) in relation to the learning agenda were largely confined to the provision of standard trade union education courses for full time and lay officials. Restructuring within the steel industry resulting in large numbers of redundancies and increasing employment insecurity for steelworkers however, led to a growing realisation within the union of the need for basic skills training and accredited courses that would enable members to develop transferable skills and thus their employability beyond the steel industry. Such concerns became all the more urgent with the ending of the European Coal and Steel Community ISERBS scheme which funded the re-training of steel workers, and in 1997 Communitas EU Ltd was established (as Steel Partnership Training) in order to address these issues.
Core Communitas activities related to the provision of redundancy support services and lifelong learning opportunities. Previous Communitas initiatives have received financial support from a wide range of sources including:
In 2019, in order to bring the union's learning and training support services closer to the union's other core activities, the Communitas team was brought back in-house.
We are proud to work alongside Community's Union Learning Reps (ULRs) to support members on their journey through education at all levels. Below you will find out a bit more about the ULR and how you could support your colleagues by becoming a ULR yourself.
A union learning representative (ULR) is a member of an independent trade union, recognised by their employer, and elected by their union in the workplace.
ULRs have been instrumental in championing the importance of training and development. ULRs work very hard to boost the image and strengthen the organisation of their union within the workplace. They can help widen union membership across the board and in underrepresented groups such as migrant workers.
If you as a member of Community want to become a ULR, you should first discuss it with your Branch Secretary or Regional Organiser. All ULRs are given training for their role through bespoke training courses.
The effectiveness of ULRs depends very much on the training they receive from the TUC or their union. Under the Employment Act 2002, the ULR needs to be sufficiently trained to carry out his/her duties either at the time of their notice of appointment or in normal situations within six months of the appointment. In order to carry out their role, ULRs in recognised workplaces have a statutory right to paid time off to train.
The statutory rights for ULRs and union members are: