Welcome to the Learning Representatives community
Communication is so important and it’s a two way street.
We know you are doing great work and we would love to hear more about your activities and what support you need from us in order to enhance your role.
We also want you to be fully informed about what the RCN and the Union Learning Fund team are doing.
The Learning Reps’ community, together with the Discussion zone (please see link on the left) are your areas where you can find news and access useful learning resources. We hope you will use the discussion zone to give us feedback, comments or suggestions you might have on any area of your role as an RCN activist.
The Union Learning Fund (ULF) project team has been working closely with the UK Learning Reps’ Committee to raise the profile of learning representatives (LRs) and - most importantly - get their voices heard!
You may already received emails from the RCN ULF team requesting updates on your learning rep activities, and not always have the time to respond. We understand that recording all your activities is time consuming and we don’t want to add to your workload. On the other hand, we are keen to capture as much information about LRs as possible so that we can raise awareness about the value of your role within the workplace as well as the region. So please do use this opportunity to give us any feedback or ideas!
The current priority areas for the ULF team work are: negotiating learning agreements, supporting learners in improving functional skills, and poviding learning resources for apprenticeships in the workplace.
A learning agreement is a partnership arrangement between unions and an employer that formally recognises the union role in lifelong learning and skills development within the organisation. The learning agreement sets out the rights and roles of learning representatives, and the rights of employees to receive paid time off to undertake learning within the organisation. The ULF team has been working with many employers to negotiate and develop learning agreements. To date the RCN has successfully signed learning agreements with a number of employers within the NHS as well as the independent sector.
The ULF team in co-operation with LRs and other stakeholders have produced a number of publications which will give you the insight into learning agreements, their benefits and what role LRs can play in negotiations with your employer.
• Learning agreements - a guide for RCN staff and activists (004 236) (PDF, 950KB)
• Learning agreements - the benefits for employers in the NHS (004 237) (PDF, 824KB)
• Learning agreements - the benefits for independent health care sector employers (004 252) (PDF, 917KB)
• Template for a learning agreement for employers in the NHS
• Template for a learning agreement for independent health care sector employers
The Learning agreement online resource was developed to assist you with negotiations and producing an action plan.
Some of you might be aware that in September 2012 Skills for Life and Basic Skills were replaced by Functional skills. Functional Skills are the essential skills needed for English, maths and ICT. These are vital for young people and adults to participate in life, learning and work. The development of Functional Skills is seen by the Government as essential to address employers' concerns that young people and adults are not achieving a firm enough grounding in the basics.
The RCN is working in partnership with employers to support the creation of high quality apprenticeship programmes that could provide an alternative route into nursing. Supporting apprenticeship learning is a key priority for the RCN ULF Project team in 2013-14; this includes working in partnership with Trusts to deliver learning for apprentices. The team is currently delivering workshops on Equality and Diversity to apprentices in a number of Trusts, as well as signposting them to RCN's learning offer for HCAs, including online resources such as First Steps and Principles of Nursing Practice. One of the challenges is that we don't have a map of where these apprenticeship schemes are! It would be really helpful if learning representatives could inform us if there is a scheme running in their Trust so that we can make contact and look at how we can best support the apprentices there. If you have information, please contact ULF Project Administrator Moira.O'Shaughnessy@rcn.org.uk
We hope you enjoy and benefit from this online learning representatives' community!