How does the union-led learning model work?

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Wales TUC Learning Services works with unions to identify those workplaces, or series of workplaces where a partnership can be developed. Using the union-led learning model, which has been developed by Wales TUC, unions appoint Union Learning Reps who then receive training to enable to carry out their role. Initially, this will involve a learning needs analysis survey where employees are asked to identify what kind of learning they want to undertake. The union may then make an application for WULF funding to tailor a programme of learning which will fit with the needs of employees.

If successful in obtaining WULF funding, the programmes will take various forms, usually including the establishment of a learning infrastructure within the workplace, often including the setting up of a workplace learning centre. WULF funding supports provision of courses, which reinforces the learning culture for unions, employees and employers.

This is formalised by the establishment of a workplace learning agreement which codifies the role function and responsibilities of ULRs and ensures that learning remains at the top of the workplace agenda

When the WULF projects end, the culture of learning that they have established is maintained by the ongoing commitment of all parties to the benefits which workplace learning brings, thus making ongoing learning sustainable. This will include employer buy-in, union commitment and employee expectations.

Union-led learning with its system of peer support provided by ULRs has particular success in engaging hard to reach learners and addressing essential skills learning needs.