Online Learning and Training

Opportunities to learn and train with UNISON have moved online, and there is a lot to get involved with.

Below are details of:

  • Online new stewards’ course
  • Other activist training courses
  • Themed directories of online learning resources
  • Guides to getting started with IT
  • Online workshops for UNISON members (bereavement awareness training for members in social care, mental health awareness)
  • Adapting learning resources for use at a distance
  • Other resources

Online New Stewards’ course

We had a very good uptake of places on our online new stewards’ course. The next one will begin in September, and stewards can apply to join either that course or the following one on the TUC Education website.

Having a steward in each workplace is vital, so get in contact with the branch to find out more about becoming involved.


Other activist training courses

We’re working on an online version of the ERA re-accreditation course and will be rolling that out as soon as it’s ready – watch this space.

UNISON has produced specific guidance for health and safety reps:

Other courses are on hold for the moment, but if reps want to refresh their knowledge we recommend taking a look at the TUC Education site – their short eNotes give the basics of a topic in twenty minutes or so, while their online versions of their introductory courses for stewards, health and safety reps and union learning reps can also be a useful refresher.

Some regional education teams are making arrangements with local colleges for delivery of selected other courses – do check your regional education website or get in touch to find out what’s going on near you.


Online learning collections

There has been a drive across many of the organisations we work with to get learning resources online, and over the last few weeks we’ve been collating some of those into themed posts on the Learning & Organising website. We’ll continue to add to the collection, so do keep checking back.


Help with digital skills

We know, however, that many of our members don’t have the digital skills to make the most of those. If you’re helping someone get up to speed with information technology, we have a selection of guides and other resources to help you.


Staff Skills Academy

UNISON has formed a partnership with the Staff Skills Academy to give members access to over 550 free online courses, from time priority management to how to manage virtual teams to remote workers’ security.
All the courses are CPD certified, allowing members to show proof of their learning to their employers.


Bereavement awareness workshops for members in social care

We have commissioned a series of bereavement awareness webinars for UNISON members in social care from the charity Cruse. While staff in this sector are likely to be accustomed to witnessing the deaths of residents in their care and to processing their own feelings of grief and bereavement, the sheer frequency and distressing nature of deaths due to Covid-19 make this particularly difficult. The training has been designed to reflect these particular members’ circumstances, but we also link to resources that may help any member dealing with bereavement.

If you work in social care, please do use this training and tell your colleagues about it.


Adapting UNISON learning resources for use at a distance

Many of our existing learning resources can, with a little ingenuity, be adapted for use in a climate of physical distancing. We’ve been hearing of reading groups moving online, store cupboard cooking clubs, and learning activities delivered over video conference. Remember, you can find learning resources including our Read Anytime Anywhere, Every Penny Counts, and Moving On toolkits on the Organising Space, and there are digital versions of the last two on our e-learning site. (Use your my.UNISON account to log in to both of those sites.)

Remember, you may well be able to claim help from the Union Learning Fund if your branch needs financial help to organise a learning activity. Contact your education team or ULF contact to discuss it.

Please keep checking the UNISON Learning & Organising Services website to find out about resources, workshops, and learning news.


Other resources

ChatterPack has compiled a vast amount of resources to explore, from wildlife webcams, to online literature, mental health advice, and online academic courses.