Your Education Officer is Mat Thomas

Phone: 02920 748280

Learning and Skills Newsletter May 2023

Welcome to the May edition of our Learning and Skills Newsletter. We have some events and courses coming up soon that may be of interest, especially the Network Meetings and the Green Training Opportunities.

We look forward to bringing you regular news and information throughout 2023 to keep you ahead of opportunities that you can attend and engage with.

For any courses or news that you wish to share in the newsletter or information on support around Learning and Skills offered through Wales TUC, please do not hesitate to contact us at or

Angharad Halpin, 
Policy and Communications Support Officer
Wales TUC

Wales TUC Union Learning Rep Network Meeting

18 July – 10.00-12.00, online

Our next Union Learning Rep Network meeting will be looking at the issue of recruitment of ULRs - how they are recruited, whether they are representative and whether they organise in their work as a team.

Join us to share how you identify new ULRs, organise your work and communicate with each other around all learning in the workplace.

Register for the URL Network meeting now and be part of the ULR recruitment for the future of your workplace and union.

Good afternoon


There are still spaces available for the following training event:


New Organising Steward Training - Face-to-face in Swansea Regional Office on


  • 7th June 2023
  • 14th June 2023
  • 21st June 2023
  • 28 June 2023
  • 5 July 2023


To register to attend, please log on to your MYUNISON account using the below link:




Kind regards


Justine Perry 

Cymru Wales Activist Education Training

UNISON Cymru/Wales

02920 729413





New safety rep introductory courses for women and Black members 

We know from previous research that: 

  • 91% of union safety reps are White
  • 80% of union safety reps are men

Safety reps are the most powerful union rep role, but we know they’re not yet representative of our wider membership. We also know women and Black workers often face more risk at work.
Having spoken to Black and women reps and activists about their experiences of health and safety at work and in their unions (see research here and here), it was suggested that having a space to learn about the role, raise questions and concerns, and be heard with others with shared experiences, could be an effective way to encourage more members to step forward by creating networks and building confidence.
That is why we have organised four free, one-day, online introductory courses.
These are open to any member of a TUC affiliated union, but they must be a woman or Black member for each respective course.



Please share with any members whom you think may be interested, and existing reps who may wish to encourage and nuture the safety reps of tomorrow!

Women only
Thursday 23rd March
Women only
Thursday 11th May
Black members only
Tuesday 21st Mar
Black members only
Friday 12th May


This exciting new course is for anyone who might be considering becoming a trade union health and safety representative. You might be a union member without a role or be a different kind of rep in your branch.

Who is the course for?
If you’re motivated by the prospect of keeping yourself and your colleagues safe, and preventing workplace illness and injury, this course for you!
We are running these one-day introductory courses for Black / women members only in recognition that they are overwhelmingly underrepresented in these roles.
Sessions will be delivered online and are open to any member of a TUC-affiliated union from anywhere in Britain.

What will the course help me to do?
Consider it a taster course on what the role involves, the rights you have in law, and a chance to discuss the different health and safety issues in your workplace. The day will also be a chance to raise any questions you might have about becoming a health and safety rep.
We hope the course will make you have a better understanding of what a safety rep does, and why it’s such a vital role.
*Please note, this training will not qualify you as a safety rep; in most cases unions directly elect their representatives. 

This course will take place online.




Are you prepared for industrial action?

Taking action to win - are you ready? 

Wednesday 15 February 2023 | 14:00-15:00




Across the country, reps are organising and taking action for a better deal at work. Join Charlie Pullinger, TUC Project Officer for Organising and Lois McCallum, TUC Digital Campaigner who will introduce the Solidarity Hub, a new resource centre which supports reps and their unions to make a success of their campaigns and disputes.

Our speakers will discuss what support is on offer for reps and talk through the various tools and resources available. Including an introduction to a new suite of helpful guides focusing on how to prepare your members for effective and legal industrial action and how to protect your own mental health and support those around you.

This webinar takes place during HeartUnions 2023.

Live captions will be available during this webinar.





Dear all,

Please find attached the Flyer for the upcoming 2023 Activist Education Programme.

Please promote widely and encourage attendance on these courses.

As per my email below sent on the 5th December 2022 (email with instructions attached) delegates should now registerfor courses via the new online registration function in MyUnison using the link


Once the Branch has approved attendance, the Region will progress the request and contact the delegate.

If delegates do not have access to MyUnison, an application form is also attached, but please assist where you can to help them access MyUnison and apply electronically (for the reasons outlined in the email of the 5th December 2022) - your help is much appreciated.

A few points to note:

  • we are using a mix of face-to-face and online delivery, based on what worked in 2022
  • please take note of the costs to Branches underneath the course calendar
  • travel expenses and accommodation must be paid for by Branches
  • the Branch will be charged if there is failure to attend on the day
  • the Branch will be charged if places are cancelled within 1 week of the course start date
  • the closing date for applications is 3 weeks prior to the start date of the course


If you have any questions, please contact


Please note we will be closed from 4pm on the 23rd December and will return on the 3rd January 2023.



Many thanks,


Rachel Price MCIPD

Regional Organiser

Lead of Education & Training

UNISON Cymru Wales


Tel: 029 2072 9413


(Please note: I do not work Mondays).

While it suits me to email you just now, I don’t expect a reply outside of your working hours​.​​​


ULR Flyer 291122.docx
Microsoft Word document [199.1 KB]
Application Form 2023.docx
Microsoft Word document [110.1 KB]


Dear all


Further to our earlier communication. The Employment Law training that was taking place in Cardiff commencing the 21stSeptember 2022 had to be cancelled due to insufficient interest.  However, there are still places available on the online Employment Law Training Course (details below), if you have any interested members please submit completed application forms by 4pm on Monday the 19th September 2022.





Intro to Employment Law/contracts/WLB/

Race & Sex Discrimination/ Unfair Dismissals

Sept 27th

Oct 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

Jack Roberts


Please find attached the Flyer and accompanying Application Form for all the upcoming Activist Education Training.


If you have any questions, please contact


Many thanks,


Rachel Price MCIPD

Regional Organiser

Lead of Education & Training

UNISON Cymru Wales


Tel: 029 2072 9413



(Please note: I do not work Thursdays).

While it suits me to email you just now, I don’t expect a reply outside of your working hours​.​​​



application form 2022.docx
Microsoft Word document [109.5 KB]

Application form in the link below.

ULR Flyer 291122.docx
Microsoft Word document [199.1 KB]
Learning resources available to health members

A guide of learning resources available for health branches has been compiled by our learning and organising service (LAOS), outlining courses available to members.

These resources help develop a learning culture within UNISON, and can also help branches raise their profile in their workplace and be used as part of a branch or workplace recruitment and retention strategy.

If you need any additional information, please contact Jon Tennison in LAOS.



Additonally you can access UNISON’s A-Z of resources here

Read the guide

Over 150,000 UNISON members work for private companies that deliver public services.

And every year UNISON runs a learning event so these members can meet each other and help develop the skills and confidence to deal with the particular issues in their workplace.

This year’s private contractors seminar takes place 9-10 November in Leicester. Discussions will focus on mental health at work, sick leave and sick pay, and health and safety.

The deadline for applications is on the 30 September. UNISON branches will cover all costs for members.

UNISON national officer Abby Kimantas says: “We’ve been running this learning event for a number of years, and it’s proving to be a really enjoyable weekend for members working in private companies that deliver public services.

“Whether you’re a hospital cleaner, care worker, administrator or work in a school kitchen, a lot of people face the same issues in different workplaces. It’s a great space to come together, share your experiences and learn how to improve your workplace.

“This year we’re particularly keen to see more registrations from women. Just over 70% of UNISON members are women, and the private contractors seminar is a great space to develop your skills as a union activist.”

Michelle Tymon, works as a domestic at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and has been attending the seminar for three years. She agrees: “When I first went three years ago, I was daunted and anxious about walking into a room of people I didn’t know.

“But everyone was so open and friendly and welcoming. We were all there to gain knowledge and experience, and I’ve ended up building a really good network of people across the country, and we all support each other throughout the year.”

“Most of all, it’s a fantastic learning opportunity. Some of the workshops that have been put on at the seminar have been really good – especially the one on collective bargaining. That’s really helped me with my job, and if I hadn’t started going to the seminar, I wouldn’t have ever known.

“It’s a space to gain knowledge and meet people just like you, who are there to learn something too.”

Chris Akalula, a security supervisor in London and rep for Serco has been attending the private contractors seminar for the past three years. “The seminar is an amazing place to meet people, exchange experiences and ideas and discuss the common issues we face,” he says.

“There are lots of people who work in the health sector there, and when you meet people who are working in similar jobs but for different employers, you realise that the problems you’re facing happen across the industry, and you can get advice on how to handle them and learn from others’ experiences and mistakes.”

“It’s an opportunity to relax, unwind, learn and connect. I had some of the best training I’ve had on negotiating, which was so practical, and really gave me the skills to lead successful pay negotiations.

“Everything UNISON warned me about played out, and thanks to the training I knew exactly how to handle it. It was astounding.

“The seminar is also a great space to hear more about topical issues like menopause, mental health, stress, sickness absence, pay grades,TUPE and employment law.

“These issues can be demotivating and divisive, but being able to discuss them together and have a voice is amazing.

“On top of this, the accommodation is world class, the food is beautiful and you come away from it feeling powerful.”

The deadline for applications is 30 September, remember your UNISON branch will cover the cost of your attendance, and you can apply here.


Free Part-Time Access Course from The Open University in Wales


Do you know learners who are ready to take the first steps into higher education?


To open up higher education, The Open University in Wales is offering a number of free places on the People, work and society Access course for people living in targeted postcode areas*  in Wales. This project is funded by the three Reaching Wider partnerships in Wales.


These courses are delivered part-time through distance learning, and are very flexible for learners.


After completing the Open University course, students will be able to either continue their studies with The Open University or will be guaranteed an interview at one of the partner institutions.


  • Places for this project are limited so please pass the course information on to any learners who may want to apply as soon as possible.


  •          Learners need to live in eligible postcode areas


  • Those who aren’t eligible for this project, but are on a low household income may be able to secure other funding for study through The Open University


Apply now


Learners can find out if they are eligible, request more information and an application pack through this webform .

Sponsored places will fill up soon, the Access course starts in October 2018.

We are taking applications now!