Photo credits alexsl from Getty Images

Trade unions´ approach on online training is taking a new shift towards a blended concept and e-learning courses have found a more consistent place in trade union education nowadays.

During the months of May-June ETUI Education has been running a survey for national organisations, aiming at an updated perspective and mapping the new educational trends. The information provided by trade union organisations who answered the questionnaire, processed and analysed by ETUI Education´s online team, marks the path for the consolidation of e-learning courses, as a format for trade union education delivered online, reaching a higher number of participants and providing them easy and broader access to quality content.

graph 1





The number of national organisations currently delivering e-learning courses has visibly increased in the post-pandemic period and even if there have been organisations responding negatively to this question, they all indicated their intention to develop this type of courses in the near future.

The proportion of blended approach to trade union training is about 70% of the courses delivered at national level and most e-learning activities are developed at organisational level by the unions´ staff, occasionally with some specific external expertise support.

   graph 2 graph 3








For more than half of the organisations answering our survey questions the preferred platform for trade union training is Moodle. A small number of organisations have chosen other support systems for their e-learning activities or have developed their own platform for training of the national representatives (about 15%).

The main weakness identified so far lies in the coordination of e-learning, as a stand-alone trade union education component. A high percentage of the organisations indicated that currently there is no specific responsible/coordinator exclusively for e-learning courses. This responsibility falls mostly under the coordination of the Education/Training departments or related trade union training institutes.

In summary, the information collected points to two major conclusions: trade union training is moving steadily towards a consolidated blended approach to learning and the national organisations are developing a strong internal competence in e-learning courses design, as well as technical skills required for Learning Management Systems.

The current ETUI digital strategy has been proactively promoting the integration of blended courses in the European trade union education offer. In support of national organisations aiming to develop or reinforce their e-learning programs, ETUI Education is providing the E-tutors course (blended training on design and facilitation of online asynchronous activities) and is actively sharing its experience and expertise on setting up integrative, platform-based courses, adapted to specific trade union training needs.

The structural integration of e-learning into the current trade union education system in Europe is no longer a question of exploring new approaches, but has reached the stage of consolidation of competencies and practices that have proved their impact and highly positive effects on the results of training.