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Tuesday 27 November 2007

Minister to endorse first NHS learning agreement in NHS Highland

Scotland's first NHS learning agreement will be signed in Inverness next week. The ground-breaking pact will boost staff training and support in NHS Highland.

The learning agreement between NHS Highland and trade unions UNISON, Unite and the RCN means union reps will get time, training and support to offer help and advice to staff about training and learning opportunities - especially for those who have not traditionally accessed it.

Minister for Schools and Skills Maureen Watt and STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith will witness the signing at the Centre for Health Sciences at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness at 1.00pm on Monday December 3.

The agreement will be signed by Nigel Small, Employer Chair of NHS Highland's Learning and Development Committee, and Adam Palmer, Trade Union Chair of the Learning and Development Committee on behalf of the Unions who are signatories to the Agreement- UNISON, Unite and the Royal College of Nursing Scotland (RCN). (Adam is also the UNISON Highland Health Branch Secretary).

The event will form part of a day-long programme (from 10.00am - 3.00pm) of workshops and stalls where NHS Highland's Union Learning Reps will be discussing the way forward to promote learning in the workplace. Some of these Learning reps will be available for comment and interview.

Also signing the agreement on behalf of the unions will be Matt Smith Scottish Secretary UNISON, Rab Wilson, Regional Officer Unite (Amicus), Jim Aitken Unite (T&G) and Katie Rae, Head of Institue from the RCN.

Stalls will be present from; - WEA, the STUC, and ILA (Individual Learning Accounts). You are invited to attend the signing and send photographers/camera crew. Please contact Philippa Clark (Trade Unions) or Gill Keel (NHS Highland) (below) to arrange attendance.

If you wish to arrange an interview with Minster for Schools and Skills Maureen Watt please contact Brendan Rooney in the Scottish Government Press office on 0131 244 2960.


For Further Information Please Contact: Philippa Clark (UNISON Lifelong learning) 01463 715 891(w) or 07983 636553 (m) Gill Keel (NHS Highland) 01463 704775(w) Eunice Cameron (NHS Highland) 01463 704774(w) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0870 7777 006(w) 0771 558 3729(m) Judy Fulton (RCN Communications Officer) 0131 662 6138 (w) 07962 801 005