Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 4 2003, page 85-91.
This article discusses a new form of trade union training courses, which Esbjerg Højskole (trade union educational center) offers union representatives. Traditional courses usually last a week and take place at a training center. When the union representative returns to her workplace, her new knowledge often remains invisible to her colleagues and to management. This new form of training is based on local networks in which learning is directly related to the workplace and to the individual member’s need for knowledge that will enable him to carry out smaller projects involving change at the workplace in a way that makes sense to him and his employer. The focus is on gender, and the method is mainstreaming. The courses are seen as being part of the ‘Zeitgeist’ as they try to create a connection between individuality on the one hand and community on the other hand. It is an attempt to develop bottom-up training courses for union representatives where the power is transferred from classrooms and the desks of union officials to union members at the workplace. Practice shows that it works. It makes sense not only for the participants but also for central bodies in the union movement since the experiences of the participants are gathered and analyzed in order to qualify the movement’s policies on equal rights.