Union learning representatives have encouraged around 25,000 people to try
their hand at workplace learning in the year since being given legal rights to
champion the cause.
A report published by the TUC, Chartered Institute of Personnel and
Development (CIPD) and the Learning and Skills Council, says that union
learning reps are working well with employers to increase learning take-up in
The report says that workers in junior positions – many of whom tend to be
suspicious of learning and training initiatives – are gaining the most skills
and enhancing their effectiveness at work.
A separate study by the TUC reveals that women appear to be particularly attracted
to the new learning representative roles. Just over a quarter of the new reps
are new to union activities, and almost two-thirds of these are women.
There are currently more than 7,000 union learning reps across the UK, and
the TUC believes it is on course to achieve its target of 22,000 trained reps
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: "In the past 12 months,
with their role now backed by the law, learning reps are going from strength to
strength, and bringing learning to those parts of the workforce that
traditionally missed out."
The CIPD said that workplace learning was to everyone’s advantage, boosting
opportunities for individuals and generating returns for employers.