Congress Trade Union Education and Training
FAS / ICTU Union Learning Initiative - Union Skills Network Project
As part of Congress's ongoing efforts to effect a more just and equitable society and improve the opportunities of and security for all workers Congress through funding received from FAS has put in place a Life Long Learning Initiative Project entitled Unions Skills Network. The Joint ICTU/FAS Project objective is to establish a national network of trained work based learning advocates - hereafter referrred to as ULR's - Union Learning Representatives - who in turn will provide advice and guidance to people who wish to avail of on-the-job and/or off the job training and learning opportunities. The Union Learning Representative is a voluntary role, based in their workplace, and who will -
- promote the Union Skills Project and the value of education throughout the workplace
- identify the educational profile of the workers in their workplace through a training needs analysis
- having identified the deficiencies in workers' education and identified their career aspirations, they are equipped to identify an educational progression route for the workers, with appropriate assistance.
The ULR can provide advice and guidance on vocational training, further education opportunities and career progression for all workers. Subject to certain conditions being met, the ULR can secure full funding for 'second chance' education for a wide range of people and their individual learning needs. Union Learning Representatives will receive extensive training which will be FETAC accredited and in itself this is a career opportunity for anyone wishing to pursue a career in Training and Development. This approach which has worked successfully in other European countries will assist in addressing the issue of a skills deficit in the workplace. The Project which commenced in September 2008 has a target of recuiting 480 Volunteer Learning Representatives and activating 5,000 low skilled workers. Attached here are two brochures with further information.
- If you are interested in being trained as a ULR in your own workplace the attached brochure is for you.
- Employers if you are interested in supporting workplace learning for your staff - the attached brochure may interest you.
Presentation of Certificates to first group of Union Learning Representatives - November 2009
Congratulations to the first group of Union Learning Representatives to complete their training and receive their FETAC Level 6 Award under the Joint FAS/ICTU Unions Skills Network Project. The event was held in the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks Dublin on Monday 23 November 2009. 43 Unions Learning Representatives received their certificate from Sean Haughey T.D., and Minister for State at the Department of Education and Science with Special responsibility for Lifelong Learning. The Union Learning Representatives who who received their certificates are employed in 19 different organisations which include An Post, Braun Oral B, Eircom, Glanbia, Gypsum, Kerry Foods to name but a few. Minister Haughey said at the event "This is a truly innovative parthership involving companies, unions and employees encouraging workers to take up the lifelong learning challenge."
Mr Paul O'Toole, Director General FAS, told the gathering that "FAS is very pleased to be involved with ICTU in this innovative venture in lifelong learning. We commend everyone involved. Most importantly, we congratulate this first group of learning representatives for their inspiring and selfless work in being advocates for learning amongst their colleagues."
Ms. Maria Maeso who works in Covidien in Athlone, and who received her Union Learning Representative Certificate spoke of her experience to-date in the workplace as a Union Learning Representative. Maria said that with her training as a ULR she had identified the need for computer training for her work colleagues. With the help of her employer providing the training facilities to accommdoate the various shifts in the Plant that up to 70 people had now signed up for the training.
Minister of State Sean Haughey T.D., with the first group of Union Learning Representatives in the Republic of Ireland. All photos in this section taken by Tommy Clancy.
At the ULR Award Event in the National Museum of Ireland were Mr. Sean Haughey, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science with Special Responsibility for Lifelong Learning; Ms. Gaye Kelly, Asst. Manager Strategic Initiatives and Alliances FAS, and Mr. Jack Horgan, Manager Strategic initiatives and Alliances in FAS.
FAS Director General Mr. Paul O'Toole and ICTU General Secretary, Mr. David Begg
ULR Maria Maeso, Covidien International