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Lifelong Learning

Learning in the Highlands and Islands

Highland Learning
Brora shows how learning can be fun!
A UNISON ULR Roxana Meecham has achieved a first in Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland. She organised a computer arts course in Brora a rural area where no union learning had taken place.Not only have the learners acquired new skills they had fun too! Click here

We are living in uncertain times. Thousands of UNISON members are worried about their future. Will they keep their job? If not how will they keep a roof over their heads and food on the table?

Here in the Highlands and Islands jobs are hard to come by at the best of times - and things are set to get considerably worse. So there is a greater need than ever to give our members the chance to learn something new.

The challenge for us is to roll out these opportunities across a wide geographical area where there is a very poor transport infrastructure. However it can be done.

We have organised a Return to Learn course on the Isle of Barra. We also benefitted from a TUC training course for ULRs in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

Again - flexibility and co operation were the watchword and UNISON ULRs are working with other unions and the trades councils to get the learning message into as many workplaces as possible so that they recruit enough learners to make courses viable.

We have run an IT course in Wick in Caithness and on Orkney and a British Sign Language course also on Orkney.

There has been a Computer Arts courses in Brora and a basic skills course taking place in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness - and this is not an exhaustive list. Much of this activity is the result of the innovative work of the Scottish TUC Highlands and Islands Development Team.

Through them we are able to access money for learning from the European Social Fund. We also benefit from the advice and support of the Workers Educational Association and our relationship with the Open University.

UNISON is seizing every possible opportunity to give a first class learning experience to our members. The Con Dem government believes in a society which benefits the few and rejects the many. Working class students and even many middle class families will not be able to afford to support their children attending university.

Yet it is education which is the great determinant of all our futures. It is the deciding factor in the jobs we are able to get, our wages, where we live, our children's prospects, our health and life expectancy.

This is precisely why UNISON is so committed to lifelong learning and so committed to ensuring that this is available to all members including those living in remote and rural areas.

So one thing that is certain in these uncertain times is UNISONs continuing commitment to learning in every sphere of our activity in the Highlands and Islands.

Our union's million plus voices are shouting loud and clear in support of the Scottish TUC's alternative programme for economic growth that There is a Better Way.


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