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Union learning reps

Over the past decade and longer, learning reps – known as union learning advisors (ULAs) – have helped thousands of union members throughout the UK to change their lives for the better through facilitating and supporting skills development and lifelong learning. The NUJ supports learning advisors in the workplace and amongst our freelance members as well as student learning reps.

Workplace Union Learning Advisors

In April 2003, workplace learning advisors won full statutory rights, entitling them to the legal right to paid time off to train and to carry out their duties in all workplaces where unions are recognised. This was a major achievement, allowing learning advisors greater opportunity to fulfil their roles.

The learning opportunities made available by hundreds of union branches throughout the country have made members sit up and take notice of the benefits that their union card can bring them.

In many cases, when unions have been able to help organise re-training and development when companies shed jobs or shut down, learning has been as compelling a reason for joining or remaining a union member as employment protection.

See an NUJ example model agreement on training and learning that you could use as the basis for an agreement in your workplace.

Freelance Union Learning Advisors

Lacking the skills development opportunities that many organisations offer staff, it is important for freelance workers to take responsibility for their own learning needs.

The NUJ plays a key role in facilitating learning for freelances and is working successfully to organise and develop freelance learning projects and opportunities on an on-going basis.

An increasing number of freelance members are continuing to benefit from union-led training and other learning initiatives from both a skills development and networking perspective.

Student Learning Reps

Student members, new to the union, are often unaware of the opportunities that being part of the NUJ can bring them.

Student learning reps help their colleagues become aware of what the union offers and how it can help them both in their later careers and as student journalists.

More and more student members are benefiting from union-led training, which supplements what they learn on their courses, as well as providing valuable networking opportunities.

For more information, please email NUJ Training training@nuj.org.uk