Education and learning - the new era, 20 May 2013

Ethel Rodrigues By Ethel Rodrigues, professional officer for education, Unite the union (in the health sector)

Most of us who are in full-time employment have come to realise the importance of education and learning in our lives.

You probably still remember the days when you learned through the use of a blackboard and chalk; however, over the last century there have been great advances in education – and the way that we learn has undergone many changes. The advent of technology has made learning more varied and interesting.

Education has become fundamental to all of those in work. We need to keep up-todate with our work, environment and our relationships with others.

The use of email is now a part of our everyday communications. Some of us feel lost without our smartphones or iPads.

Distance learning can help to enhance the flexibility of education, making use of time efficiently and effectively without needing to attend a class or meet your tutor in person.

‘Lifelong learning’ and ‘continuing education’ are terms that, broadly, refer to adult learning, which has become a buzzword in our everyday working lives and careers. We can never separate ourselves from learning new things, even as we get older.

Access to a personal computer has become the norm, even for those who have never been near a typewriter, let alone something as modern as a portable laptop. Libraries all over the world allow free access to these modern phenomena that have become part of the furniture in every home.
 For those who are still in work, let us appreciate and be grateful for the advances in technology that make learning more varied and help to add spice to our sometimes mundane lives.

At some point, most of us will complete training courses to update our knowledge and skills, either for the post we hold currently or if we want a change of career.

If we do not make use of such training our livelihoods may be at risk. This is all the more reason for us to embrace education and learning as the bread and butter of our lives in these modern, hectic times.

Here at Unite in health we are extending this lifeline for you to grasp educational opportunities you can use to enrich your working lives and future career. For more information about training and education
opportunities visit the Unite lifelong learning website.