Latest news

New OU microcredentials case study: Pauline McColgan

SUL and OU logos

As part of our combined responses to the COVID19 pandemic, Scottish Union Learning has worked with trade unions and the Open University in Scotland to support union learners in accessing the new suite of Open University Microcredentials.

Registration opens for Scottish Union Learning Conference 2021

The 13th Annual Scottish Union Learning Conference 2021 will take place online, 24 November 10am - 2pm.

The theme for this year's conference is 'Skills for economic recovery: the role of union learning'.

Visit the event page for more information, including the event programme and registration link.

Career development opportunities for union members

The Open University in Scotland has continued to work closely with trade unions to ensure their members can access skills and training during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those at risk of redundancy.

Here Michael Conroy, a Learning Organiser for Unite the Union, discusses how the OU helps to support union members to reskill and upskill to develop their careers and find new employment opportunities.

Fair Work in Practice - Unite the Union Case Study: Effective Voice

Scottish Union Learning has been working closely with unions across Scottish Apprenticeships to develop apprenticeship standards and frameworks, to progress apprenticeship opportunities with employers and to support Apprentices in their workplaces.

This is the fifth in a series of five apprenticeship case studies from a range of unions working in different sectors. Each case study will focus on a specific Fair Work dimension in practice, although the Fair Work dimensions do not stand in isolation from each other.

Effective Voice

"Effective voice requires leadership and support from employers, workers and unions. Voice is effective where workers have scope to say what they feel, are listened to and where their voice can make a difference. Workers in unionised firms were more likely to point to these characteristics of voice in their workplaces. This is consistent with wider research evidence that suggests that effective voice is most likely where unions are present, and where management and union representatives have the orientation, capability and capacity to communicate, influence and negotiate." Fair Work Framework 2016

Unite the Union: A Construction Sector Case Study

by Tam Kirby, Unite the Union

Effective Voice is a key element of Fair Work. It is essential that young people are able to use their voice without fear of retribution. Trade unions are the most effective organisations to ensure both individual and collective voices are heard.

Apprentices in the main are encountering the workplace for the first time, they can feel isolated and somewhat overwhelmed by the experience and are less likely to raise issues with their employer or immediate supervisors. Unite the Union within the construction sector has identified this as a major concern and has actively sought out and engaged with construction apprentices.

Trade unions support upskilling and reskilling

A project led by The Open University in Scotland to break down barriers to participation in education has been crucial in helping trade union members to continue accessing learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here Tommy Breslin, our Senior Development Officer talks about the impact of the project.