Happy Christmas from your UNISON Learning Reps

Happy Christmas from your UNISON Learning Reps

Paul and Mike

Coventry District Unison Learning Reps – Paul Hunt (Left) and Mike Wallace (right)

Your Coventry City UNISON Learning Reps Mike Wallace and Paul Hunt would like to wish Happy Christmas to all UNISON members in the city. We hope that you have the chance to relax over the festive period.

In 2018 get in touch with us to discuss how the union can help you find courses and training that you are interested in and whether the union can help you financially with getting back in to learning.

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Another UNISON member in Coventry receives £100 grant

Another UNISON member in Coventry receives £100 grant


Last week we received news that another union member in Coventry had received the £100 Learning Grant from UNISON. The application was made on the Wednesday and the member, who works in a Coventry school, received notice that it had been successful just two days later on the Friday.

This is great news for the member concerned, and we encourage more members to apply!

The process is straightforward, and can be a real help. Get in touch if you need more information!

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First edition of our learning newsletter out now!

First edition of our learning newsletter out now!


Mike Wallace with our newsletter

We are pleased to announce that the first edition of our brand new newsletter is out now and being distributed around Coventry City Council.

You can download by clicking here

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Are you a Personal Care Assistant? You could get a £300 Learning Development Grant from UNISON

Are you a Personal Care Assistant? You could get a £300 Learning Development Grant from UNISON

unison care worker

If you are a UNISON member and a personal care assistant who provides personal care in private or charity-run/ voluntary aided homes or individual’s own homes, then you may qualify for a £300 Learning Development grant.

We know how difficult it is to afford training to improve your job prospects due to huge increases in course fees and the withdrawal by many employers of financial support for career development. Members who provide personal care in private or charity-run/ voluntary aided homes or individual’s own homes make up an increasing proportion of UNISON’s membership.

To help you get on at work and develop your career, UNISON is piloting Personal Learning Development Grants with this group of members. A limited number of awards of up to £300 each are offered for course fees. These grants can be used for a wide range of courses. They can help pay for fees on any general non-vocational course (e.g. IT courses, skills training, languages etc.), any vocational course relevant to working in public services (e.g. counselling, accountancy and management courses would be supported but not beautician training or electronic engineering!).

Eligible courses are those at all levels up to and including under-graduate level but not masters. We will give preference to members with few or no qualifications when allocating these awards. We are especially keen to hear from members who are active in their branch, however applications are welcomed from all members who deliver personal care in private, community run-homes or in individuals’ homes.

We encourage you to get in touch for more information and to fight out how to apply!

Please email mike.wallace@unisoncoventry.co.uk  and paul.hunt@unisoncoventry.co.uk

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Autumn issue of Learning Rep magazine is out now

Learning Rep Autumn

Autumn issue of Learning Rep

The latest issue of Learning Rep magazine is out now. The Autumn 2017 edition contains the latest news and information concerning union based learning from around the country. There are articles on Apprenticeships, resources for Union Learning Reps, online learning and much more.

You can access this excellent publication by clicking here.


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Footballers and their trade union

Footballers and their trade union 

Luke Hendrie Bradford

Luke Hendrie is on loan at Bradford City from Burnley – photo from Telegraph and Argus

We are pleased to carry the following interview from the UnionLearn website with footballer Luke Hendrie. Luke is currently on loan at Bradford City from Burnley. The interview gives a brilliant insight in to the importance of unions and how they can encourage members in to learning, no matter what the profession. In this case it was the Professional Footballers Association who were able to guide their member in the right direction. So whatever job you do, the message is – join the union!

From pitch to press

About the author –  With most professional footballers’ attention solely on the field, young Burnley FC defender Luke Hendrie recognises the importance of education. He has recently been awarded a first-class honours degree in Professional Sportswriting and Broadcasting that is run by the PFA in partnership with Staffordshire University.

Hendrie began the two-year course back in September 2015, and talks about why he trained to move from the penalty box to the press box

What is your playing history?

I started at Bradford City in their Centre of Excellence when I was eleven and then got picked up by Manchester United when I was thirteen. I spent two years as a schoolboy, two years as an apprentice and one year as a professional. During my time at United I won seven caps for England at u16 and u17 level.

After I got released at Man United, I spent two years in the development squad at Derby County, before signing for Burnley where I am currently contracted. Since joining Burnley I have spent time on loan at Hartlepool United, York City and Kilmarnock FC.

What led you to deciding you wanted to do a degree?

Jason Lee, a PFA representative came into Derby and ran a presentation in front of the u18’s and u21’s.

At the time, I had a feeling that my contract wasn’t going to be renewed at the end of the season by Derby and I knew how difficult it is for young players to get clubs after being released.

During the presentation, the Sports Writing and Broadcasting degree appealed to me as my Dad has worked in the media since he retired playing professionally. I have always followed him around to watch games while he has been commentating on the TV or radio. I have always had an interest in the media side of sport.

How have the PFA helped you?

If it wasn’t for the PFA then I wouldn’t have known to do this course. I will always be thankful for their help putting me on the right track. Now I have the degree; I’m interested in considering other courses which might help me in the future.

The PFA have set up the course and help subsidising the university fees which made it easier for me to complete the course knowing that they would cover a large chunk of the tuition fees.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Hopefully still playing in the professional leagues at the highest possible standard. The past couple of seasons have been good for me in terms of getting out on loan and experiencing first team football, so hopefully that experience can stand me in good stead for the future.

I am also interested in coaching and I want to do my coaching badges. Hopefully in the near future I will have my UEFA B and potentially my UEFA A licenses.

What do you want to do after you finish football?

That’s something that I’m not 100% sure about just yet. Who knows what will happen in the future but now I have my degree I am a lot more confident about making the transition in later life.

I might need my degree next week or I might not need it until another fifteen years, but now I have something, I feel a little bit more relaxed about the future.

Do you think other players should think about education more?

Certainly. I have seen it before, even when I was still at school, people would put their eggs all in one basket thinking that they were going to be professional footballers and letting their studies suffer as a result.

I was quite lucky when I was younger that my parents always put my schoolwork before my football. Looking back, I think this is the right mentality to have as there is such a small percentage of players who go on to have long careers in the game.

Even since I have done my degree, I have tried to recommend the course to as many professional players as I can. I can’t speak highly enough about it.

What advice would you give to players who don’t know about the PFA’s services?

The PFA set up regular presentations about the various services they offer. I’ve had meetings in the past about education, insurance, pensions and agents. They really do help with a wide range of things to help benefit you as a player.

You only have to spend ten minutes on the PFA website to see how much they do to help.

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Time to apply for the £100 Learning Grant from UNISON!

Time to apply for the £100 Learning Grant from UNISON


If you are a member of UNISON and taking a course outside of work then you could qualify for a £100 Learning Grant from the union.

UNISON are keen to help members further their learning and development. You can be taking any course, whether that is learning a language, computing or anything else – as long as you are paying the course fees yourself.

A number of UNSON members in Coventry have benefited from the Learning Grant and we want to help more members do so. It is worth seeing if you meet the qualifying criteria!

You can get an application form from branch Learning Reps Mike Wallace and Paul Hunt by emailing paul.hunt@unisoncoventry.co.uk and mike.wallace@unisoncoventry.co.uk. They will be happy to answer any questions that you may have or to help with completing the application form.

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