The UK’s trade union learning and skills body, Unionlearn, is making a vital contribution to the Race Online 2012 campaign. Half of UNISON members surveyed this summer said that thelack of digital savviness was their greatest skills-gap – preventing work, union and community activity. It follows that addressing low digital skills is core to the organisation’s social justice objectives.
Unionlearn pledged to recruit 820 digital champions from across the UK’s 6.2million-strong trade union membership, to encourage more employers to also join the campaign and to ensure anyone leaving work – whether through redundancy or retirement – does so with internet skills.
On the ground, this has translated into scores of unions – from CWU, PCS and Unite, to Aslef – signing up to promote and deliver training in webskills in the workplace and the community for 2012 (see full list below). More than 100 trade union learning centres have already signed up to become UK online partner centres.
The organisation has set up a portal for its Go ON Get a Lifeline Campaign and developed a suite of online tools to support trade union learning centres’ digital programmes.
Over the next year, Unionlearn will encourage more learning centres to join the UKO network, relaunch the Get a Lifeline campaign, encourage union learning representatives to engage more disadvantaged learners, recruit and support more digital champions via ULRs and union members. It will encourage more unions, members and community organizations to take up the low-cost high-quality refurbished Race Online 2012 PC and connectivity deals.
It will develop specific programmes to support key Race Online 2012 campaigns such as Go ON Give an Hour and Go ON places campaigns (it was a key partner in securing local authority and partner support in Liverpool) and press more employers to do the same. On top of which, 200 trade union learning centres will promote and access the BBC’s First Click and webwise material. It will host a digital inclusion for trade unions workshop in each of its six Unionlearn regions, and establish a learning centre in each. It will use its communications channels – regional print publications, Learning Rep magazine, web – to inspire speedier action to build a networked nation.
Unions who have signed up to support are: Aegis, Aslef, Aspect, ATL, BSU, BfAWU, Community, CWU, FDA, GMB, Multi – unions at Mersey Travel, MIP, NUJ/FEU, NUM, PCS, PFA, POA, Prospect, RCM, RMT, SCP, TSSA, UCATT, URTU, Unison, Unity, Unite, Usdaw
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