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2017 Union Learner of the Year Announced

Priscilla Maramba, 2017 Learner of the Year

Scottish Union Learning, which is part of the Scottish TUC, has announced that the 7th Annual Learner of the Year is Priscilla Maramba, UNISON member and Support Worker at Stirling Council. Priscilla was chosen as the 2017 Learner of the Year because of her dedicated commitment to continuous learning since she came to the UK from Zimbabwe in 2001.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, said:

“Priscilla’s story is one which highlights the valuable contribution that migrant workers make to our workplaces, our communities, and our wider movement. Priscilla has so much to offer Scotland, and has worked extremely hard to diversify her skills through various learning and volunteering opportunities. However, what her story also highlights is that much more work needs to be done to ensure that migrant workers, particularly women, are given the opportunity to utilise all their skills and experience within the labour market.”

Peter Hunter, Scottish Organiser, UNISON Scotland, said:

“Priscilla’s story is a remarkable one and the journey she has been on and continues on is filled with an unbridled enthusiasm and passion for learning. She is also a fantastic advocate for Lifelong Learning and devotes much of her energy to encouraging others to get involved and take up the opportunities that trade union learning can offer.

“We at UNISON are very proud of Priscilla and this Award is testament to all that she does and continues to do.”

Priscilla Maramba, UNISON member and 2017 STUC Learner of the Year, said:

“I first came to the UK in 2001 and during this period, I became aware of countless opportunities to learn in various settings and I grabbed them. Before joining the union, I was involved in various volunteering activities, which enabled me to quickly get to grips with life in the UK, establish networks, increase my confidence and help me to identify my position in society. I realised that I was at my best when engaged in work which involved supporting, advising and empowering people.

“When I joined UNISON, I felt like all the pieces of the jigsaw had finally come together. Through the union, there were even more learning opportunities, more networking opportunities and a lot more work to do in promoting social justice, which is something that I have always been passionate about from a young age. In the union, I did not have to change who I am. There was so much support, understanding, encouragement, inspiration, friendliness and a strong and serious voice relentlessly asking for situations to change to make life better for the working people and other members of society particularly those who are most vulnerable.

“I have never won an award before! I am both honoured and humbled to have been chosen as the 2017 Learner of the Year by Scottish Union Learning and the STUC.”



Priscilla Maramba’s Learning Journey

Priscilla Maramba and Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary

The recipient of the 2017 Learner of the Year is Priscilla Maramba, a member of UNISON who works for Stirling Council.

Priscilla was born and brought up in Zimbabwe, and worked as a solicitor there until life started to become challenging under the government regime of Robert Mugabe. In 2001, Priscilla came to the UK to study and make a new life for herself and her three children.

Whilst living in various places in England and Scotland, Priscilla worked in many jobs to make ends meet including working in a potato factory, ice cream factory, then as a cleaner, care assistant, and support worker for people with Learning Disabilities, as well as volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau. In 2005 Priscilla moved to Scotland, and whilst working as a Care Worker for Falkirk Council, she became a member of the local UNISON Branch, which supported her return to learning.

Priscilla currently works as a Support Worker for Stirling Council. She continued her learning journey by completing an HNC in Business Studies in 2004, and gaining her Masters in Law in 2007, all whilst caring for her children, holding down a job, and volunteering. In the last year, Priscilla has also completed UNISON’s Black Workers into Management Course, supported by the Learning Fund from Scottish Union Learning, and has now started a Chartered Management Institute Certificate in First Line Management through the Learning Fund. She is a UNISON Black Members Committee rep on UNISON Scotland’s Learning and Organising Committee, and is working closely with the UNISON Development Fund project.

When she decided to begin a full-time course in Social Work, Priscilla sought funding from the Scottish Social Services Council and voluntarily chose to change her job to part-time with Stirling Council to suit her vigorous study schedule. She will soon complete her MSc in Social Work from the University of Stirling, and hopes to work as a Social Worker in the future.


For further information please contact:

Jennifer Payne, Marketing Officer

Scottish Union Learning

Tel: 0141 337 8130