A Message to Unite Members

Dear Colleague

This region has a strong tradition of providing first class activist education. We are delivering our whole programme as usual, we are just using new methods. Our virtual classrooms allow students to interact with others from the safety of home or their workplace. This new delivery style won't suit everyone and we will open up our class based offer again as soon as it is safe to do so!


Not sure our virtual classroom is for you? Take a listen to Tan as he explains how our tutors help you click here

The ‘New Reps Induction’ Course is designed to enable all Unite reps (Workplace Reps, Health & Safety Reps, Union Learning Reps and Equality Reps) to train together to gain the skills needed to best support their members in the workplace. It also gives new representatives a better understanding of the Unite team in their workplace and how they can work together. 

For workplaces with larger numbers of representatives wishing to be trained together alternative provision can be discussed. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

We do have a reduced programme of face to face delivery advertised. Once these initial courses are underway and we can assess the safety we will review adding additional dates to the programme.

Download your brochure here


or call: 0113 2364830 and ask for the education department.

In solidarity

Andy Pearson

NEYH Regional Education & Development Officer

New Reps Induction - 10 day programme delivered in either block or day release

Course description:

Who should attend?  

This course is designed for new representatives or those who have not received training in the last five years. The course is the induction for all workplace representatives, health & safety representatives, learning representatives and equality representatives. 

What will I learn? 

The course covers a number of topics to prepare you for your role as a Unite representative.

  • Roles and Responsibilities 

  • ACAS and other legislation - know your rights

  • Unite structures and where you fit in 

  • Understanding risk assessment and why it’s every reps responsibility 

  • Giving members information, advice and guidance 

  • Why recruit members? 

  • Understanding the Equality Act 2010 

  • Knowing your agreements and the Unite Broad Industrial Strategy 

  • Introduction to leadership 

  • Our history - research and presentation skills 

  • Note taking 

  • Interviewing members 

  • Dignity at work - Bullying and harassment 

  • Barriers to learning and engagement for members 

  • Understanding grievance and disciplinary policies - why all reps should know these! 

  • Understanding negotiations 

  • Developing a workplace project

New Reps Induction For Busy People

This course is a pilot course, running from 10am to 12 noon, once a week on a Tuesday, in two blocks of 5 Tuesdays each. It is designed for parents and carers, for those who work continental shifts, and for those who have disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD or Autism Spectrum Condition, that make too much screen time or group work difficult.


In addition to the 2 hours weekly on Zoom, you will need to spend 2 - 3 hours per week in private study. This should be done the same day, if you have facilities time, or can be done any time during the week. Your tutors are available in the afternoon by email or phone to answer questions. This course will cover all the normal activities for the New Reps Induction Course.

Block One

15th, 22nd February, 1st, 8th & 15th March

Block Two

2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th May

Both blocks are booked together

Workplace Reps Module Two - 12 Days

Course description:

Who should attend?

This course is designed as follow on training for those workplace representatives who have completed the New Reps Induction. The course is designed to enhance your skills in holding meetings, understanding redundancy and a wide range of other employment law related topics.

What will I learn?

The course covers a number of topics to advance some of your key skills in your role as a Unite Workplace Representative. 

  • Understanding employment rights in the workplace

  • Utilising employment law to defend your members

  • Understanding the employment tribunal process

  • Dealing with redundancy

  • Understanding the employment contract

  • Communicating with members

  • Developing a workplace project

  • Ending the employment relationship, what is fair?

  • What is TUPE?

  • Getting the best for your members

  • Organising to win

Health & Safety Module 2 - 12 Days

Who should attend?

This course is designed as follow on training for those Health & Safety reps that have completed the New Reps Induction. The course is designed to enhance your skills in a wide range of safety related topics including advanced risk assessment, accident and incident investigation, COSHH, LEV and manual handling.

What will I learn?

The course covers a number of topics to advance some of your key skills in your role as a Unite Health & Safety Representative. 

  • Identifying hazards

  • Identifying a range of health risks in the workplace

  • Noise in the workplace

  • RIDDOR Reporting

  • Manual handling

  • Understanding a full range of risk assessments and how they differ

  • Accident investigation

  • Interviewing skills

  • COSHH legislation

  • LEV legislation

  • Incident management skills

Union Learning Reps Module 2 - 10 Days

Who should attend?

This course is designed as follow on training for those Union Learning reps that have completed the New Reps Induction. The course is designed to enhance your skills in supporting members to access learning opportunities. The course will also allow delegates to gain a level 3 award in education and training.

Additional Courses

Who should attend?

This course is designed as follow on training for those Union Learning reps that have completed the New Reps Induction. The course is designed to enhance your skills in supporting members to access learning opportunities. The course will also allow delegates to gain a level 3 award in education and training.

Branch Officials

Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for those activists elected to branch positions of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. It is designed to give you the skills to run your branch effectively, from running meetings, taking minutes to monitoring and reporting your branch finances.

Pensions Stage One - 5 Day Block

Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for all elected representatives who have an interest in, or a role as, a pensions representative on behalf of their members at work.

Mental Health Awareness

Who should attend?

This course is designed to introduce the topics of stress, anxiety and mental ill health. It will assist reps in promoting mental health and to understand the issues faced by members at work. We encourage all reps to attend the course.

Mental Health awareness covers

  • Raise awareness of mental health

  • Understand the importance of mental health

  • Mental Health terminology

  • How mental health can impact on you

  • Mental health and employment

  • The role of the employer

  • Creating mentally healthy workplaces

  • Supporting others

  • Looking after your own well being

Mental Health First Aider - 2 Day Block

Please note we are unable to list dates for this course for 2022 at this time. As soon as our pilot face to face New Reps courses have run and been reviewed for safety we will be reviewing this position.


Who Should Attend?

This course is open to those representatives who have completed the one day Mental Health Awareness course. Through this course you will gain valuable knowledge and skills that will enable you to identify the early signs of mental ill health, provide help to prevent mental ill health from getting worse and recover more quickly, and reduce the stigma of mental health problems.

The Course is accredited by Mental Health England. We can also deliver this training in your workplace at a cost to your employer. We would ask that you limit bookings to one representative per workplace for this course.

Mental Health First aid covers

On this two-day course, you will learn how to:

  • Identify the early stages of a mental health problem

  • Help someone who’s dealing with a mental health issue

  • Help stop someone from self-harming or hurting others

  • Help stop mental ill health from worsening

  • Help someone have a quicker recovery

  • Guide someone towards proper professional help

  • Break the stigma of a mental health problem

Dealing with Redundancy - one day a week for three weeks

Course Description

This course is designed to help reps understand the process of redundancy. It covers a wide range of topics to assist you at what is a difficult time for any rep.


  • What is a redundancy?

  • Rights to consultation

  • The consultation process

  • Rights to information

  • Communicating with members

  • Alternatives to redundancy

  • Campaigning

  • Pools and selection criteria

  • Time off to look for work

  • Redundancy pay

  • Unfair dismissal

  • Support

Learnwithunite - Support for reps during redundancy

This one hour session is designed to give reps who are dealing with redundancy an understanding of the support available to them and their members by the Learnwithunite team.

The session will cover: - 

  • Getting support

  • What the team can offer and how

  • The regional three stage support offer and how that fits your redundancy

Harmful Gambling

Harmful Gambling in the Workplace: a workplace issue, a community issue, our issue.

Learn with Unite, in partnership with harmful gambling treatment provider Beacon Counselling Trust, have developed a training programme looking at the subject of harmful gambling and the role of employers and trade unions in helping to address the issue within a workplace environment.

The primary delivery platform of awareness raising and information in a trade union context is the one-day Bet You Can Help online zoom training for union professionals, union representatives and employers.

By attending this course you will have a better knowledge and understanding of the subject and will be in a position to both discuss the subject with other groups and offer support to people affected by harmful gambling. The harmful gambling workplace charter is the framework used to offer support to those affected by harmful gambling and the course will look at the charter in more detail.

Neurodiversity, Autism Awareness and the Workplace

Who is this course for?

This course is for all union representatives, equality officers and other members who want to find out more about autism (including Aspergers), neurodiversity and the workplace.

To gain confidence in promoting equality in the workplace for people who are neurodiverse.

Learning Outcomes

  • To evaluate myths about autistic people and others who are neurodiverse

  • To describe issues that affect autistic and other neurodiverse people at work

  • To describe how the law can be used to promote equality for people with autism in the workplace

Stress management and well being

Stress management and wellbeing are key issues for all our reps. Please come along and learn about what the union
can do to help, and how you can monitor your own and your members stress and well being. 

Understanding Harmful Addictions


This course is designed to give you an understanding of how addictions can impact upon members in the workplace.

Course overview

You will learn how addictions can affect members in the workplace; you will learn how to use employer policies to ensure the well-being of all employees.

Autism in the workplace


To learn how Autism  Spectrum Condition and  Asperger's affect members in the workplace.

Course Overview

You will learn how autism affects members; you will consider what reasonable adjustments might be needed for autistic members; you will learn how to access support for autistic members in the workplace.

Promoting Racial Equality


This course is designed to assist BAME members or members of branch committees who are working to promote equality for BAME members within branches, to promote equality of opportunity for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members of Unite

Course Overview

You will learn about democracy within Unite; you will learn how to realise your potential, aim for leadership positions and learn how to promote equality of opportunity within Unite's equality structures and branch and regional committees. 

Politics and you

Course description 

This course is the first step to understanding why politics is Union business!

It is also a stepping stone to the regional residential schools and the national political school held in Durham each year.

Who is this course for?

This course is for everyone, and especially for women, BAEM members, LGBT members, the young, and the disabled.


  • To understand the link between political economy and trade unionism and how Unite members can become involved and influence politics at various levels.
  • To prepare members and activists for leadership roles in Unite and in the wider political arena.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the impact of politics and economics on working men and women in Great Britain from 1918 to today.
  2. Describe the importance of climate change on workers' lives and the need for change in workplaces and society.
  3. Outline how decisions are made in your community.
  4. Evaluate the potential for change in power relationships in your community based on collective action.

Advanced course for Reps


This is a pilot course utilising a new format. The course is designed to assist reps develop knowledge and skills which will enable you to become a better rep.

Who is this course for?

To get the most from this course we suggest you have completed a stage two course either workplace reps, health and safety or ULR. We also encourage those who have attended national equalities courses to join us too. Applications for this course are particularly invited from BAEM, LGBT+, Women and Young Members'.

Course overview

You will  learn research methods and use one method to create really useful knowledge; you will work with other members in your workplace or branch to promote equality or organising through doing a research project; You will learn the principles of community based participatory research and how to apply them to your role as a rep.

Delivery format

9.30am – 11.30  on Tuesdays  on Zoom; afternoons spent in individually guided study on Litmos 12.30-4.30pm. To assist with release the course will be advertised from 9.30 - 16.30 so we suggest using the afternoon session to complete your self guided studies. If you have facilities time the course work should be completed during facilities time, otherwise it can be done at your convenience.

The course is delivered in 2 blocks of 5 Tuesdays with a month in between. Some additional work may be needed during the 10 teaching weeks and also 2 or 3 hours per week during the month in between the two teaching blocks.