17 Jul 2019

Apprenticeship Essentials

I’ve been working with unionlearn to create a range of new tools for apprentices and those thinking of becoming apprentices. Called Apprenticeship Essentials, this suite of online resources can be accessed either via a dedicated app or on through the unionlearn website. Apprenticeship Essentials has range of features, from pay checking and guidance to elearning and job vacancies. Some of these require registration, but all are free to use. There are guides to apprenticeship basics, entering the world of work, employment rights and how trade unions can help in the workplace. There is also a
20 Oct 2016

My new role as the TUC's first Chief Information Officer

I’ve recently taken on a new role in addition to running the Infobo digital consultancy. I’ve been appointed as the first virtual Chief Information Officer at the Trades Union Congress (TUC). It’s ‘virtual’ as it’s a part time role. I’ll be dedicating a handful of days a month to the role, but it comes at an interesting time, as changes in technology are having a huge impact on organisations. One of the biggest changes in recent years is the rise of the ‘cloud’ and cloud services. The ‘cloud’ may be a buzzword for describing internet hosted applications, but a significant implication of these
26 Feb 2015

Extra security and speed with CloudFlare

Anyone running a website will be aware of a growing threat from malicious software, usually powered by networks of infected computers known as botnets. Vulnerabilities in software are increasingly targeted, and the numbers of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on websites are estimated to have increased tenfold since 2009. I’ve been running websites for over 15 years, and I’ve seen first-hand how much growth there has been in this type of traffic. Checking the logs for most websites will reveal that a botnet has been testing for a vulnerability. Website security has never been so
04 Aug 2011

Viral marketing and Unions

Viral marketing is a way of using existing social networks to reach an audience for campaigns and advertising on the internet. The idea is that, if the message is good enough, people will tell their friends about it through email, Facebook posts, Tweets etc. People are more likely to value the opinion of their friends, so if the message is successful then a large amount of viewers can be reached for a relatively small outlay. Unions have been experimenting with viral marketing for a number of years, with varying degrees of success. The TUC was one of the first to experiment with this approach
19 Aug 2010

Climbing frame website launched

Union Learning Reps (ULR) play an increasingly important role in the workplace, and a new tool has been launched to help them – the web based Climbing Frame. This website combines learning content with a mechanism to manage the progress of learners. The system replaces a previous version that had to be installed on individual machines.Unionlearn, the TUC body set up to promote learning, found that whilst users recognised the benefits of the Climbing Frame, its potential was undermined by compatibility and accessibility problems. This was particularly noticeable inside company networks. Being