The CWU And Learning In The North West
Here, Paul Newsham Chairperson of the North West Regional Learning and Education Committee, introduces the CWU learning role and discusses Trade Union Education aims:
The CWU has set learning as one of the key purposes of the union. The aim is to break down the barriers to learning and provide relaxed and friendly places in which our members can learn, build confidence and develop.
The learning doesn’t have to be work related. It could be anything from brushing up on your maths or English, learning how to use a computer or improve your IT knowledge, doing a higher education course, or developing new skills or interests to enable you to improve your life.
The CWU believes that trade union education can transform the lives of working people for the better and is committed to providing all our members with opportunities to learn.
How does it work?
Your branch can have Union Learning Representatives (ULRs). These are local union members, like you, who have been trained and have access to local learning providers.
They will talk to you in confidential one to one session to help you decide what you want to learn and how you can go about it.
Many branches are developing Union Learning Centres or Projects, either in partnership with the employer or independently. These are places where you can learn with your work mates, as well as (in some cases) friends and family.
Courses are generally provided either by a local college or other learning provider and are taught by fully qualified tutors.
We always try to run courses at a time and place which suits our members. Many courses will give you the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications.
ULRs also work with other Trade Unions and community groups to expand learning opportunities for our members. Particularly those who live in more remote areas or are interested in studying more specialised courses.
ULRs will also look into the options for E-Learning or distance learning.
Basically ULRs are there to help you take the hard work out of finding the right course and be there to offer support on any issue which you may have related to your learning.
What are Union Learning Centres?
A Union Learning Centre is a place where members can come at a time that suits them in order to learn, at their own pace, in a quiet, comfortable and supportive environment.
It can be a in a fixed location or it could be mobile, it may be in the workplace, union premises or within the local community.
So what could you learn?
Some of the courses run so far in the North West have included:
Computers for the Terrified, Using a Compass and Reading Maps, Spanish, Brush up your Maths, Word Processing, Yoga, English Skills, Using Skype for Video Calls, How to Succeed at Job Interviews, Family History, Making the most of Google, Digital Photography, NVQ’s in Customer Services, NVQ’s in Driving a Goods Vehicle, Exploring English—Shakespeare, Start Writing Fiction, Android Basics, Guitar for Beginners,
The range of courses is endless, we cannot guarantee to get courses free of charge but we will always try to do the best we can on prices.
What are you waiting for?
There are opportunities for everyone, whether you want to refresh skills you have or learn new ones. Whether you want to keep up with the kids, help your work prospects or simply stretch yourself.
Learning can be infectious, and once you start you may find that you may want to go on to other courses. So why not open new horizons for yourself?
Are you interested?
Then contact your local CWU branch or the CWU Regional Learning and Education Committee at the following e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit the CWU learning website at www.cwueducation.org for more information.