A Message to Unite Members

Welcome to the 2020/2021 Unite Wales Education brochure. We are living through extremely challenging times. The coronavirus crisis has meant the Union is having to adapt quickly to continue supporting our members and activists to the same high standards, but in different and innovative ways.

As a Unite activist you are the union’s most precious resource. Now, more than ever, Unite members need well trained and informed representatives to get them safely through this difficult period. Key to this is supporting our activists with high quality education.

To keep you and our employees safe, Unite Education is moving in the short term, to online delivery. From September – December 2020 we are moving our courses into virtual classrooms; training will take place using the video conferencing software that lockdown has made us all very familiar with. Prior to our core programme starting in September, we are offering some short 3 day courses specifically tailored to help activists deal with workplace issues surrounding the current Covid19 crisis – so please take a look. In the New Year we are hopeful that we will be able to deliver our full range of courses largely back in our Unite offices across Wales.

Throughout the period of online delivery the structure of our courses will remain the same. For Workplace Reps and Health and Safety Reps we will still provide a clear 20 day training pathway, with courses split into 4 modules. Online courses will still require paid release and will continue to be delivered during the week from 9.30am – 4.00pm. Your full time officer can help to secure paid release if you experience difficulties.

In addition to the fantastic courses for our Workplace Reps, Health and Safety, Equality and Learning Reps, we can also run bespoke courses and bite size training upon request. Unite education is flexible and we are able to provide training designed to meet the specific needs of your workplace.

All of our courses are delivered in partnership with Adult Learning Wales, and will continue to be delivered by experienced tutors in an informal, friendly learning environment. If you sign up to an online course please be reassured that you do not need advanced IT skills as you will receive pre-course help to familiarise yourself with online learning. The only technology you require to participate is a smartphone or tablet.

Please take a few minutes to look through this brochure and sign up for one of the many courses on offer. To apply please contact us by email or telephone 02920 821258. Alternatively you can view all of our course dates online at:

Being a Unite activist is often a tough but very rewarding role, particularly in the current climate. Unite education is here to support you, so please make sure you take the opportunity to engage with our Education programme.

In Solidarity

Glyn Conolly

Education and Development Organiser

Download your full brochure here

Workplace Representatives Training

As an elected Workplace Representative it is essential you access your initial training as soon after election as possible. Your initial training consists of Module 1A and 1B. This course runs over 10 weeks, one day per week.

Workplace Representatives Module 1A &1B - 10 Days

Course description:

This course is designed to be the core initial training for Unite workplace reps. The course covers the wide range of knowledge and skills needed by the new Rep including:

• Key skills for organising your workplace

• Handling discipline and grievance cases

• Communication skills

• Introduction to Employment Law Equality at Work

• Understanding the concept of ‘good work’

• Understanding and dealing with Issues around Dignity and Respect in the workplace

• Problem solving skills

• Bargaining skills

• Work-life balance

• Building a strong workplace union

Workplace Representatives Module 2B - 5 Days

Course description:

The course is designed for representatives as follow on training for those that have completed Modules 1A, 1B and 2A.

This course covers:

• Rights to information

• Workplace Rights

• Collective Bargaining

• Agreements

• The Case for Collective Agreements

• Planning for getting an agreement

• Collective Bargaining and Negotiation

Workplace Representatives Module 2A - 5 Days

Health & Safety Representatives Training

As an elected Health & Safety Representative it is essential you access your initial training as soon after election as possible. Your initial training consists of Module 1A and 1B. It is best to book both courses at the same time to ensure you have a place reserved on each course. 

Health & Safety Representatives Module 1A & B - 10 Days

Course description:

This course is the essential course for all new Unite Health and Safety Representatives. It is designed to help you build the skills, knowledge and confidence to organise effectively in order to carry out your work as a Safety Rep as well as to create understanding of how economic and others aspects affect the working lives, health, safety and welfare of working people.

The course covers:

• Understanding the role of a Unite Safety Rep

• The legal framework of Health and Safety

• Rights of Safety Reps

• Involving the members in Health and Safety

• Accident Investigations – Risk Assessments

• Examining your workplace risk assessment and evaluating them

• Understanding health & safety audits and company accident statistics

• Appreciate health & safety legislation including aspects of criminal and civil law

Health & Safety Representatives Module 2A - 5 Days

Course description:

Module 2A of Unites Health & Safety training builds upon the knowledge learnt in Modules 1A and 1B.

The course covers:

• Assessment of workplace action plan

• Understanding COSHH and related hazards

• Carrying out a workplace audit

• Explore manual handing and ergonomic risks

• Creating a healthier work environment

Health & Safety Representatives Module 2B - 5 Days

Course description:

Module 2B of Unites Health & Safety training builds upon the knowledge learnt in Modules 1A, 1B and 2A.

This course covers:

• Assessment of workplace action plan

• Understanding accidents and finding route cause

• Investigation techniques

• Managing risks and incidents

Equality & Diversity - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

Designed to give all Unite Reps the confidence and knowledge to address equality and diversity issues, the course provides a comprehensive overview of equality in the workplace.

On completion of the course Reps should be able to:

• Recognise equality issues within the workplace

• Know what constitutes discrimination, harassment and bullying

• Challenge their perception of equality & diversity

• Understand the key points of new equalities legislation, measures and legal decisions

• Decide how best to support workers in response to new equalities legislation

• Use interviewing techniques to deal with individual and workplace equality issues

• Develop equality policies and practice

Union Learning Reps

Union Learning Representatives play a key role in any workplace. They bring a new string to the organising bow as well as assisting members to access high quality education and training.

Union Learning Reps Stage 1 - 5 Days

Course description:

This course is designed to be the core initial training for all Unite Union Learning Reps (ULRs). It helps them develop the basic knowledge and skills needed as a new Rep, enabling them

to work with colleagues in the workplace to analyse training needs. The course forms a solid foundation for the new ULR to develop their skills and their own personal development.

Union Learning Reps Stage 2 - 5 Days

Course description:

This course continues the core essential training for all Unite Union Learning Reps (ULRs). It helps them to further develop the knowledge and skills needed as a ULR in the workplace – working with management, learning providers and other organisations. The course completes the foundation for the ULR and prepares the ULR to develop more specialised skills and knowledge.

Additional Courses

We offer a wide range of additional courses open to representatives. You may find some of these suitable for enhancing your existing skills. We advice that you complete your initial reps training before accessing these additional courses.

Pensions Stage One - 5 Days

Course description:

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the full range of different pension schemes reps are likely to encounter in the workplace, as well as covering state provision, auto enrolment, pension protections and the role of the ombudsman. We aim to enable workplace representatives to develop their understanding and skills to better support their members and gain confidence in dealing with pensions as part of the bargaining process.

Unite Wales Political School Stage One - 2 Days

Course description:

The Unite Wales Political School is a fantastic opportunity for members to come together to better understand the political objectives of our union. The course will look in detail at why trade unions are involved in politics; what devolution has meant for Wales; the nature of political campaigning; the policy process and future planning of campaigns.

This 2 day course will be comprised of group activities, discussions, debates and will include a number of guest speakers including political representatives who will also make contributions at the school.

Unite Wales Political School Stage Two - 2 Days

Course description:

Stage 2 of the Unite Wales Political School is for those members who have successfully completed Stage 1. The course will look in detail at political organisation; explore the international industrial, political, social and economic issues facing our union and how we can influence change for our members, our communities and our nation.

Mental Health Awareness

Course description:

This course will help Reps develop a better understanding on mental health issues and how they affect members in the workplace. You will develop a better understanding of Disability Discrimination Law and how it applies to people with mental health illnesses. The training will enable you to develop a strategy to deal with workplace mental health issues and ensure employees are not discriminated against.

Challenging Bullying and Harassment - 3 Day

Course description:

Bullying and harassment is a major problem in many workplaces.

This course will enable you to:

• Identify the various forms that bullying and harassment can take

• Implement strategies to deal effectively with bullying and harassment cases

• Deal with mental health issues and work related stress

Branch Secretaries / Branch Officials Course - 5 Days

Course description:

The Branch Secretary is a key player in the Unite team. The concept of this course is to develop Branch Secretaries within Unite by providing them with the knowledge and skills, and nurturing their passion, to drive forward the ideology of our union, to develop our activist base and grow and strengthen our membership. This course is designed for all new Branch Secretaries, and for those who have not attended the course recently.

The course covers:

• The administrative role of the Branch Secretary

• How the union works

• How ‘lay democracy’ starts at local branch level

• Understanding organisation procedures

• Encouraging active participation within the Unite structure

• Branch Finance

• Understanding the ‘Strategy for Growth’ and the crucial role that the branch plays

• Setting out a local ‘strategy for growth’ for recruitment, retention and participation in branch life

• Branch Portal

• Chairing and Organising Skills