Life Long Learning

Learning doesn’t need to stop when we leave formal education and if we want to move forward in a career then continuous learning is essential.

Many of us will not have had positive early education experiences, and returning to learning can be daunting. But UNISON, and the partners we work with, will ensure that if you take that courageous step you will find out that learning can be fun as well as valuable.

UNISON is keen to ensure that members still have access to the high-quality training that the union provides, even though it’s not possible to meet face-to-face during the current coronavirus crisis.

That’s why the union has formed a partnership with the Skills Academy to give members access to over 550 free online courses, from time priority management to how to manage virtual teams to remote workers’ security.

UNISON’s friends at the TUC, the Open University and Digital Unite also have plenty of free courses online. You can find those, together with all UNISON’s online learning opportunities here.

Check your skills

If you haven’t taken part in learning or education for some time, why not take a skill check with these online resources.

SkillCheck is a tool created by unionlearn for the use of unions to help deliver learning in the workplace.The tool contains three learning themes (english, maths, ICT) designed to provide an initial assessment and encourage further learning.

National Numeracy Have you got the essentials of numeracy?

Visit the Skillcheck tool

Visit the National Numeracy tool

Learning Reps’ Networks

Watch our video about our Learning Reps coming together as #oneteam.

Sussex Downs College learning offer

Sussex Downs College is offering UNISON members, their friends and families, the opportunity to learn a variety of Level 2 accredited courses designed to support you in your current job or to enhance your skills for a future career for FREE.

The distance learning study can be completed online or in a course book, and every learner is assigned their own personal assessor. The courses take around 30 hours of study and include the following titles:

  • Principles of Dementia Care
  • Awareness of Mental Health Problems
  • Understanding Nutrition and Health
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Understanding Behaviour that Challenges
  • Understanding Autism

Find out more at

Informal learning workshops

Our short one hour workshops, or lunch n’ learns, can be delivered to groups in the workplace

Read more

Learning online

There are a range of learning opportunities available online. This can offer a flexible and convenient way to study.

Find out more

Our partnerships

UNISON works in partnership with a number of well-known organisations, networks and programmes, including the Open University, the Social Partnerships Network, the WEA, the National Extension College, Unionlearn, and the NHS Social Partnership Forum (England).

Find out more

Demand driven courses

As part of our Life Long Learning initiatives and in connection with the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), we offering to members a series of fully funded one day workshops.

Find out more

Your branch education team

A number of roles exist in your local Branch to support your education, they are Branch Education Officers, Lifelong Learning Coordinator, and Union Learning Rep (ULR)

Who to contact in your Branch

UNISON learning and organising services

Visit our national Learning and Organising website for information on more online resources, enotes and webinars, financial support for learning, as well as activist education.

National learning and organising website

Who to contact in the region

For members and branches in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex contact

Contact information

Member Learning and Organising