Lifelong learning in the Highlands showcased as good practice
at national learning event
Thanks to UNISON I am "Old enough to have
learned a bit but young enough to learn some more" Janette McQuiston,
UNISON is pleased to have secured a fieldworker
for our Learning Agenda who covers the Highlands and Islands of
Scotland - equivalent to the size of Belgium!
Working with the TUC our aims are;
- Members who live in remote and rural areas should have the
same opportunity to learn as members in cities and urban areas.
- Embed a culture of learning in branches and establish a self
sustaining learning network
The most effective means of promoting learning
is for those who are making the learning journey to share their
experiences with fellow members. We are able to feature the experiences
of two Union Learning Representatives at this event, Janette McQuiston
from NHS Highland and Ian Allen from Highland Local Government
who features on a DVD.
Janette McQuiston – NHS Highland Branch – a living example of
My name is Janette McQuiston. I am the branch
Education Officer and also a Union Learning Rep. – I am no-one
special just someone who believes that learning is something that
everyone is entitled to. It doesn’t matter who you are – the Chief
Executive of NHS Highland or a porter or laundry worker, an auxiliary
or a charge nurse we are all entitled to learn.
I was an average pupil at school got some "O"
levels – yes that’s how long ago I was at school. I am "Old
enough to have learned a bit but young enough to learn some more",
but thanks to UNISON I have gained so much experience and learned
This is all our Branch Secretary’s fault. A good
few years ago Adam wrote out to all UNISON members asking if anyone
was interested in becoming a Rep. At that time although I didn’t
want a change of job I was looking for another interest. I had
been an auxiliary since I was 16 and felt I needed something more
– so I wrote back and said I was interested and things just took
off. I got training – thoroughly enjoyed it and started asking
This training has led me on to other things –
I was involved in securing the NHS Highland Partnership Learning
Agreement and was interviewed by STV on that occasion. I have
done radio interviews and was invited to address the launch of
the TUC Scottish Union Learning Academy.
So by becoming a rep all things are possible.
At the recent UNISON’s Women’s’ conference in Southport Dave Prentiss
UNISON General Secretary made mention in his address of the importance
of learning now more than ever in the current economic climate
where people need to get as many skills as possible.
As individuals we are all unique but everyone
one of us has it in us to help others – even if it is just to
point someone in the right direction so they can access training
and what better way to help than become a ULR.
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