Employee take-up of training via unions increases 9%

The number of people who accessed training at work via the union route in the past 12 months has risen by 9% to 67,000, according to TUC figures.

Union learning representatives, members tasked with helping their colleagues access training opportunities at work, have risen by 50% from 8,000 to almost 12,000, the figures show.

The research also reveals that there has been an increase in the number of learning agreements between employers and unions, with 278 new agreements signed involving learning reps and promoting union learning among the workforce.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: “Union learning reps are bringing thousands of people back to learning where other approaches have failed.

“We now need to push on to ensure that every worker has the chance to maximise their full potential and access the training they need. A union academy is the next step for the trade union movement to bring together the multitude of training opportunities unions already offer.”

Skills minister, Phil Hope, said: “The Union Learning Fund has been a huge success that has made a difference to thousands of workers up and down the country.

“We have increased funding for this year and next to more than £15m, including £1m capital funding to help unions contribute to the work of the new sector skills councils.”

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