The conference will highlight the benefits of Unison/Employer partnerships drawing on the practical experience of schemes that are already up and running. The concept of life-long learning is one of growing importance and the conference will examine how this can be promoted as well as exploring current research into workplace learning.
Education and employment minister Kim Howells will be the keynote speaker. Other speakers include Nigel Grant, training officer at Lambeth Heath Care NHS Trust; Professor Helen Rainbird of the Nene Centre for Research in Employment, Work and Training; Mike Nixon, director of North London TEC; Chris Humphreys, Unison regional secretary for Greater London; Les Perkins, Unison regional officer (education) Greater London.
Unison has a growing reputation among public service employees for its pioneering programme of workplace learning. At the heart of Unison's strategy is the ability to deliver, in partnership with employers, major programmes of accredited learning designed to enhance work related skills and personal development. Few of the participants in the programmes have any formal academic or vocational qualifications and may have been out of education for 20 more years.