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Student learning representative

What is a student learning representative?

Student learning representatives (SLRs) play a crucial role in helping to bring learning and career development opportunities to student NUJ members.

Student members may be studying journalism, but no course can equip them with all the skills or information they need to meet the needs of a rapidly changing industry. Training costs and access to information add to the challenges for students as they try to acquire the skills they need to begin a journalism career in the 21st century.

Through consultation with student members, the NUJ is working to develop an understanding of how to help both SLRs and student members access formal and informal learning opportunities.

Through their role, and as NUJ members, they help with the recruitment and retention of student members by acting as an example of what the union can provide.

Examples of SLR involvement might include:

  • Analysing and assessing learning or training needs of student members, including those related to industry skills as well as those that are necessary to run a student media outlet and negotiate with the student union.
  • Analysing and assessing learning interests that are not directly related to the field of journalism.
  • Providing information and advice about learning or training matters and signposting members to learning and training facilities.
  • Arranging learning and training, including working with the NUJ and other skills providers to organise relevant and easily accessible training opportunities.
  • Acting as a conduit for student NUJ members to meet and learn from working journalists on both formal and informal levels.
  • Learning from best practice regionally and nationally by, for example, attending local and national SLR forums, workshops and conferences.
  • Providing up-to-date guidance on work experience.
Why we need student learning reps

SLRs play an essential part in helping to create and support learning opportunities and skills development for our student members.

We need SLRs to help:

  • keep our members informed of skill changes in the industry
  • raise awareness of the need for skills development
  • ensure that members are as fully equipped with as many skills as possible
  • work with universities, colleges and education providers to develop learning opportunities
  • help provide information, advice and guidance (IAG)
  • feed information and advice back to the NUJ about trends, developments and changing requirements.

While some members already participate in learning, there are many who would benefit from learning opportunities, such as training courses and workshops, if they could gain access to them.

The NUJ is continuing to make significant progress in improving skills development opportunities for student members. With the help of our SLRs, we are playing a vital role in promoting and providing lifelong learning.

Why should I be a student learning rep?

There are many excellent reasons to get active where learning is concerned. You should consider becoming a Student Learning Rep if:

  • you are interested in your own and your fellow students' skills and career development
  • you want to influence the provision and quality of training for students and recent graduates
  • you want to be a part of the drive towards real career development and training
  • you want to become more involved in NUJ activity
  • you would like new ways to network with working journalists via other union members
  • you would like to learn more about skills development and how to access opportunities.

Promoting and facilitating learning opportunities is a key element of the NUJ's strategy to support and assist its members.

The NUJ has already helped thousands of members to acquire new skills as well as raising awareness of the need for skills development throughout the industry.

With the help of SLRs, we can continue to make a real difference to improving the career opportunities and personal development opportunities of our student members.

Get started

If you want to become an SLR, you'll get the right training and plenty of on-going support from the NUJ. For more information, contact NUJ Training training@nuj.org.uk.