Connecting Learners in South West & Central Wales: Five Minutes With…

UNISON’s lifelong learning project: Connecting Learners in South West & Central Wales is funded by the Welsh Government’s Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF).

The aim of the project is to support and complement work based learning opportunities for public service workers — with a particular focus on the hard to reach / non traditional learner.

UNISON’s learning offer is a vital part of the union’s agenda, described by our General Secretary, Davie Prentis as “the jewel in our crown”. Thousands of UNISON members across the UK have benefited from a wealth of learning opportunities.

We have been exploring the importance of lifelong learning through a series of interviews with key project stakeholders: employers, trade union officials and learners themselves.

Our series concludes with a spotlight on Roger McKenzie, UNISON’s Assistant General Secretary:

Why is lifelong learning so important to you?

It changed my life and I have seen how much it has changed the lives of thousands of our members.

Best learning experience:

Day one of my my first shop stewards course as a NUPE rep. It showed me that I actually knew something having been told all my school life that I didn’t.

Worst learning experience:

Being patronised on a Tackling Racism course. Being told by the white tutor what I should believe, rather than what I actually believed and had experienced. As a tutor it was trying to teach a tackling racism weekend residential to a group of engineers who had been told to attend but didn’t want to be there.

What advice would you give to someone considering a route back in to learning?

Don’t hesitate. You will never look back.