The TUC’s Union Academy has taken another step towards inception with the appointment of a chief executive.
Liz Smith, the TUC’s current head of learning services, will head the new academy that will bring together all the learning and training the TUC offers.
Smith has spent most of her professional life working in education and trade unions. In 1998, she co-ordinated the TUC task group that created union learning representatives and a special government fund to help unions get more and better training for members.
The new academy – details of which were revealed exclusively by Personnel Today last year – is due to begin work in April 2006. It will offer guidance on training for employers and employees with courses ranging from skills such as reading, writing and numeracy, right through to MBAs at colleges, universities and in the workplace.
Further help will be available through a new helpline and website, and the academy will serve as a think-tank and skills research centre. The academy will also provide and co-ordinate all the training for union reps and officers.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “We are very fortunate to have secured such an experienced and talented individual to lead the TUC’s new academy as we revolutionise the learning at work agenda. The new academy will provide a major boost to the quantity, quality and coherence of the training available to the workforce.”