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The BU is where we learn together as individuals and teams, across a diverse and broad range of informal learning activities to formal courses and qualifications.

Barnardo’s changes the lives of children, young people and families by learning all the time. We learn by doing. We learn from each other. We learn from our partners and communities. And we learn from the children and young people we work with. Learning helps us prioritise and make sure we achieve the impact we want. It makes us more efficient and effective, and engages, develops and retains our people in pursuit of our ten-year corporate strategy.

The BU is where Barnardo’s draws this all together. It offers more than traditional professional development or training. It combines our own extensive knowledge and experience with the very best of what's out there, helping people to make connections and self-direct when, what and how they learn. It is how we learn together today in readiness for tomorrow’s world.

The BU will, over time, also do much more. It will create a thriving marketplace of ideas generation and sharing for all learning partners – from whatever sectors – who share our values and social responsibility.

And just as Barnardo’s in the past helped young people to learn so they could lead productive lives, The BU will offer increasing routes into work for vulnerable young people through apprenticeships and paid internships.

From launch in October 2019, The BU will grow and develop by working with people and partners on what learning means to them. You can read more in our 2019 executive summary.

Learning in Barnardo’s

In Barnardo’s we use the term ‘learning’ in its broadest sense. It is any activity that has a positive impact on you in your role at Barnardo’s and therefore helps us achieve the aims in our corporate strategy. The BU will ensure a wide range of learning and development opportunities, equipping staff with the right qualities, skills, experience and qualifications to deliver excellent children’s services. The effective sharing of knowledge is a key principle of The BU, as is collaboration with all our Barnardo’s people, paid and unpaid colleagues, young people and external partners. The BU is based on a learning together approach. 

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