ACT Accrington On The Radio

In preparation for Adult Learners’ Week 2015, BBC RadioAdult-Learners-Week-2015 Lancashire stopped by our new home on Cannon Street in Accrington to discover more about what we do.

You can listen to the interview here:


ACT Accrington Doubles in Size!!

Our new ACT Accrington venue is fully up and running!!!

To celebrate, we will officially relaunch ACT Accrington on Friday 19th June 2015 at 2p.m. to coincide with the final day of Adult Learners Week 2015.

Located within the Hyndburn Voluntary & Community Resource Centre in the  Old St James’ School building on Cannon Street the new centre is just a stones throw from our old home on Warner Street. The building is home to other local support services and is therefore a perfect location for us to continue to work with the GMB, local churches and the community.

We have already begun to forge strong links with Ynot Aspire, ADHD Northwest and Remploy who are all based in the building and we hope to do the same with others. Other partners we work with include Calderdale College, InTraining and National Careers Service. We will continue to work closely with Accrington & Rossendale College, the local Job Centre+ and a number of other Information, Advice & Guidance providers in the area to support people into either training or employment.

With newly equipped rooms for delivery of Functional Skills, I.T. training and work club activities the new centre has allowed us to double capacity and respond to the ongoing demand for access to learning in the area. Our new surroundings continue our tradition of providing warm, friendly and supportive facilities in which people learn at a pace that suits them.

We will release more details nearer the time but we hope you can join us to celebrate the start of the next exciting chapter in our Accrington story.

New National Newsletter

In preparation for the GMB Annual Congress in June we have GMB ULFworked with the other GMB ULF Projects across the UK to put together the latest edition of The GLUE.

There will be printed copies available at congress and at other national events throughout the year but below you can find an electronic version which you can read online.cropped-gmb-reachout-logo-e14126932652341.jpg

This exciting 3rd edition sees 4 new projects in 4 regions as well as expansions of existing projects into new areas. The continuing work of Reach Out and the other ULF projects is guiding thousands of GMB members into education and training.

Find out more here….

Updated Sector Booklets

A couple of years ago GMB Reach Out in conjunction with Tribal developed a range of courses for the retail and care sectors. These Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs) were bundled together in handy booklets to distribute to relevant workplaces.

They have proved so popular that we have almost run out of both versions.  So, in an effort to make sure they can continue to reach as many people as possible, we’ve made them available electronically so that they can be viewed online, downloaded or printed.

North West & Irish Regional Secretary Paul McCarthy said “It’s fantastic that the sector specific booklets, pioneered in this Region, have proved so popular and to see that they are being used in other Regions now too,”

We are in the process of developing a similar booklet for the schools sector and we hope to have some printed copies of all three booklets available soon.

In the meantime you can view the current editions electronically below, and if there is a course you would like to discuss in more detail please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0161 877 9439 or via email at



Minister Commends Union Led Learning

Presenting the award for the 2015 Union Learning representative at the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Union Learn NI Conference in Belfast on Wednesday, the Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry congratulated the winner Carmina Kaszoni, an employee of Moypark, Ballymena, for her dedication and support in encouraging her colleagues to participate in learning.

Dr Farry said: “Union Learning reps are playing a crucial role in steering employees towards enhancing and upgrading their skills and abilities and are fast becoming a cornerstone of the Trade Union movement. They ensure that workplaces are not only conducive to lifelong learning but are professional and effective as learning environments for both employers and employees.

“We need to raise the skills levels of the whole workforce to ensure we are equipping people with the qualifications, aptitudes and abilities they need to achieve their full potential.

“The need to invest in skills is the central message of my Department and it lies at the heart of everything we do. Through the Union Learning Fund we are offering thousands of workers across Northern Ireland a chance to re-engage in learning.”ULF-logo transparent

There are currently 11 union learning projects operating in workplaces across Northern Ireland, funded through the Department for Employment and Learning’s Union Learning Fund. These projects are aimed at improving workplace skills as well as providing a second chance for people to gain qualifications in literacy, numeracy and ICT. They have also helped to train and support Union Learning Representatives, establish learning centres and facilitate learning agreements with employers.

The Minister continued: “Skills play a vital role in performance. In fact research shows that firms in the UK that do not invest in training are, on average, twice as likely to fail. So, if employers want to increase their productivity, introduce new technology or improve customer service, they need to up-skill their current workforce. Working in partnership with your Trade Union to encourage learning in the workplace can help deliver that goal.

“Last year, Union Learning Representatives brokered learning opportunities for over 2,000 people, with almost 1,000 improving their Essential Skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT. No matter what stage you are at in your career, skills are vital at all levels throughout everyone’s working life.”

Welcoming the Minister to the conference on behalf of NICICTU, Mark Langhammer said: “I am pleased to pay tribute to the work and spirit of the Union Learning Reps and those workers who have taken this opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills.”

Work Club Guide

At our ACT Centres we operate weekly Work Clubs offering support to those out of work to help them learn new skills and gain employment.

There is always a member of the team on hand to offer help and advice.

It’s fair to say that there is a whole host of information to take in, whether it’s creating a CV, learning to type covering letters, assistance with searching for jobs online or help with interview tips.

So we thought we’d try and capture as much of it as we could in a handy Work Club Guide.  It’s a useful tool if you’re attending one of our Work Clubs but if you can’t make it to one of our Centres but would still like some help you can use it to help you in your own time too.  You can call 0161 848 9173 to find your nearest ACT Centre.

Please share it with anyone who could benefit from using it.  You can either download it or print out the relevant pages below. We’d also love to hear any feedback and comments about the Work Club Guide.


Northern Irish Newsletter Issue 1

To make sure you all know what’s going on with our Northern Ireland project we have created a special edition of our newsletter.

There are printed copies available at the Holywood office and Project Worker Andy McCann will be able to make sure you get a copy, or a few copies to hand out among colleagues.

We’ve also kept some here in England, so if you’re based in the Northwest and would like a copy, please let us know.

Alternatively you can view an electronic copy of the newsletter here:

We hope you enjoy reading and if you have any comments or ideas for future articles in either this or our regular newsletter please make sure you get in touch.