Unionlearn towards 2015
This has been a tough year. Unionlearn has faced a cut in government funding from £18.9M to £15.3M. But unionlearn remains a major player in the adult skills landscape with a strong and growing future.
This year, 34 unions, including all the largest unions, together with unionlearn, are on course to engage a quarter of a million working people into learning, giving people chances to develop themselves and gain skills which they would never have without their trades unions. Union learning is steadily growing.
Unionlearn's 80 staff provide dedicated support to every union, both those with ULF funding and unions that are funding learning themselves. Unionlearn delivers, through TUC education, 50,000 trained reps, 3,000 of whom will take on the union learning rep role.
Almost all union reps and officers now work with the learning agenda in different ways. Union learning is spreading across all aspects of union activity: union negotiators are pressing employers to invest more (and more fairly) in learning; equality experts are focussing on better learning for the most disadvantaged who often get the least chance to learn; learning and well-being is fast climbing the health and safety agenda.
Unionlearn provides expert advice and opens up new learning agendas. This year, unionlearn will support over 8,000 apprentices including many on the new Trailblazer frameworks; young people will be helped into work for the first time through high quality Traineeships, avoiding the trap of exploitation; union learning will reach out to hundreds of communities and thousands of non union members, including the retired and unemployed, helping people gain vital skills, for example in working with computers.
Employers can see for themselves the value of unionlearn. Over 2,500 private sector companies, and almost all the Public Sector, including almost all the leading employers in the UK, now actively work with their unions on learning. Employers know they need to invest in high quality training. And they know the best way to invest in learning is by jointly working with their employees, through their unions.
In 2014/15, unionlearn will:
- Help all unions build their learning activity, whether funded by the ULF or by unions themselves.
- Build stronger unions by training reps and union officers across the range of union activity.
- Speak up for union learning, giving working learners a voice.
- Bring unions, employers, colleges, universities and other skills organisations together to support over 250,000 new workplace learners.
- Campaign for a fairer skills system; challenging government and employers to do better for adult learners.
- Pioneer new ground in learning, leading the way on areas such as: green skills, well-being and learning, using skills better to avoid losing them, equality and learning, and learning for older workers.
- Develop new ways of delivering learning, through e-learning – but always with learners at the heart of the system.
- Help unions to play their rightful role as equal partners in a strong national skills system, alongside employers, providers and government.