embargo: 00.01. 27.06.2011
Speaking in an interview ahead of the TUC unionlearn annual conference, John Hayes, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further Education and Skills said:
'Unionlearn is central to the Government's vision for building the nation's skills, especially in helping to provide new access routes for apprenticeships.
'A progressive ladder, from re-engagement in learning right through to higher learning is how I see the future of the skills system and I very much want unionlearn to be a part of that. I am ambitious for unionlearn's future, both in its work developing higher learning and in re-engaging people back into the labour market.
'As unionlearn holds its annual conference, I want to pay tribute to union learning reps, who have made so much difference to so many lives, and to such effect. Trade unions can play an invaluable and immeasurable role in improving skills in the workplace.'
Welcoming the Minister's comments, unionlearn Director Tom Wilson said:
'The Minister is right to recognise and praise the work and dedication of those 26,000 people trained as union learning reps, who are helping their colleagues to improve their skills and knowledge.
'In workplaces around the country, businesses are benefiting from working together with unions and union learning reps to build a better skills base for our economic needs.
'We welcome the Government's ambition to introduce more apprenticeships than ever before, but we must ensure that they are quality apprenticeships, providing valuable experience and real jobs.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
All unionlearn press releases can be found at www.unionlearn.org.uk
Wanda Wyporska T: 020 7079 6954 M: 07795 844 728 E: email@example.com
1. The interview in full is available at http://vimeo.com/unionlearn/johnhayes2011
2. Unionlearn is the TUC's learning and skills organisation, which works together with unions and employers to offer training in the workplace. Last year it helped over 230,000 individuals to access education. Unionlearn has trained over 26,000 Union Learning Reps.
Press release (400 words) issued 27 Jun 2011