Choices for Change

Voice is pleased to report some exciting news as we have successfully secured funding from Union Learn to launch our Choices for Change project.

What is Choices for Change?

This project will develop under the keen eye of our new Learning Organiser, who will work to recruit and train our first Union Learning Reps, who can then, in turn, help members to identify and address their skill gaps through learning, promoting choice and increasing career options. We hope this will empower members to achieve a wide range of qualifications, starting with an essential skills check, then progressing upwards through the qualifications framework.  

This project aims to lay the foundations so that Voice members will be able to plan their careers and drive career progression through choice.

 

Choices for Change is about giving members choices for the future. It could help teaching assistants to become teachers and other support staff to become teaching assistants. It could help teachers to develop leadership opportunities, enhance mentoring skills within their workplace and strengthen their subject knowledge.  

Our new Learning Reps will work with members to set out and achieve goals, by establishing strategies to ensure positive outcomes that will serve to enhance learning and education.

If you are interested in getting involved with Choices for Change, please complete our expression of interest form.

Express your interest

What is the Role of a Union Learning Rep?

  • ULRs are instrumental in championing the importance of training and development;
  • ULRs give members information and advice about learning and training opportunities;
  • ULRs work with third parties such, as local colleges to set up courses in workplaces;
  • ULRs carry out training needs analyses in workplaces;
  • ULRs help break down barriers to learning such as time and funding; and
  • ensure equality matters in lifelong learning.

Choices for Change will improve Equality within Voice workplaces.

A word from our General Secretary Deborah Lawson, about Choices for Change:

“Voice is ideally placed to support Union Learning Reps and I am proud to be launching Union Learning Reps within Voice. Learning changes lives, changes attitudes and provides, opportunities for the future, something that I am sure will be of major value to Voice members in today's ever-changing careers landscape."

Choices for Change will be sending out surveys, hosting dissemination events and, most importantly, we want to know your views. Choices for Changes has Voice members at the heart of it, built by our members, for our members, to empower Voice members.

If you are interested in getting involved with Choices for Change, please complete our expression of interest form.

Express your interest

Equality through Choices for Change

A key part of this pilot project will have equalities underpinning it, as it will be empowering women members who are currently teachers, teaching assistants, nursery nurses and support staff within their workplaces to aspire to develop their careers to reach new levels. 

There are many challenges currently faced throughout the early years and teaching profession. One issue we hear a lot of from our members is work-related stress and, through Choices for Change, this can be identified and tackled. We will work with third party organisations, such as Mind and the NHS, to ensure that awareness is raised about the issues and courses, such as mindfulness, can be promoted, set up and attended by Voice members.  

One of the first issues to be removed from the Equality Act as a protected characteristic was socio-economic impact. Voice aims to work in geographical areas of the country where opportunities for Voice members are limited and increase life chances for members in those areas.

If you are interested in getting involved with Choices for Change, pleasecomplete our expression of interest form.

Express your interest

The Technical Bits

Full training for the Learning Rep role will be provided and there is time off for union learning reps, to be negotiated with the employer.

The Employment Rights Act 2002 gives trade union learning reps rights to time off to carry out their duties as a learning rep. The Act gives facilities to the reps, such as noticeboards, locked filing cabinets and space to carry out their activities, and unpaid time for learners to consult with their learning rep about learning.

If you are interested in getting involved with Choices for Change, please complete our expression of interest form.

Express your interest

Have your say

As Voice starts to work towards our Choices for Change goals, it is important that the work we do around Union Learning Reps has you, our members, at its heart.

We have therefore devised a survey to offer you the chance to share your thoughts and views on lifelong learning so they can be reflected in our plans. 

Your answers will be treated in the strictest of confidence and used only to help Voice identify your needs and preferences with our new learning programme.

Complete survey