Review: CWU Scotland Learning Committee event in Glasgow

On Monday 15th January, the CWU Scotland Learning Committee hosted a wide-ranging celebration of learning at the STUC building in Glasgow. The event was chaired by Lee Wakeman of the CWU Education & Training Dept.

Alan Summers and Scott Taylor of Glasgow District Amal Branch told us about the latest developments with the Script To Screen courses at the Key To Learn Centre and treated those assembled to a selection of film trailers – which you can see here.

We All Fall For It by Alan Summers

Family by Shirley Cheng

Route 666 by Helen Mooney

Heaven and Hell by Stuart Ross

Darkness Rising by Scott Taylor

Tommy Breslin, the Development Officer from Scottish Union Learning explained the paperwork required to draw down SULF funding for courses and how to make sense of it.

The highlight of the event was when Lauren McDonald addressed the meeting to explain how union learning had transformed her life and given her a new career. She was working in the Customer Service Call Centre at Alexander Bain House in Glasgow when she saw a poster advertising the Cisco CCNA course. Scottish Union Learning are able to fully fund these courses so she was soon talking to Lead ULR Mel Cambridge who gave her a better understanding of the commitment and time she would need to give to complete the course. At the time she had not been a CWU member but was encouraged to join after seeing the support that reps like Mel were able to provide.

After attending this course for a few weeks, Lauren discovered she had and aptitude for the work and enjoyed doing it. She applied for and was successful in becoming a BT apprentice. She also successfully passed the final CISCO exam and became fully accredited. Her commitment to learning led to her being nominated as SULF’s Scottish Learner of the Year for 2016.

I had to juggle a lot in my personal and professional life to gain this qualification,” said Lauren, “But taking on the Cisco course has worked wonders for my career. I hope that others will consider taking their first steps to learning by contacting their union learning reps. Joining the CWU and taking the Cisco CCNA course has been the best decision of my career! At 27 I’ve finally managed to find a job which is both rewarding and fulfilling!

The difficult task of following Lauren fell to Paul Dovey of the CWU E&T Dept. He gave an update on the range of courses available online through CWU Left Click. He explained that there are now over 600 courses available to CWU members. He explained about a little known resource on Left Click called the learner profile, that can be edited and printed off to create a learning and skills record that can be used to show others the knowledge and skills gained through union learning.

The final contribution was a very well-received presentation from Mark Pollitt and Scott Maccabe from City Of Glasgow College TU Ed Dept College who explained how the collective learning fund could be utilised to widen the range of courses on offer, showing how their website enables unions to share their resources.

The whole day was well received by all those present. Rounding off the event, Regional Secretary, John Brown, was fulsome in his praise of both the Regional Learning Committee and the ULRs who have made union learning in Scotland such an inspirational success.