Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw)

Usdaw is the fourth largest trade union in the UK and represents workers principally in retail, distribution and food manufacturing in the private sector.

Usdaw's Education Department has eight regional Training Officers who are responsible for the delivery of rep and member training in conjunction with the TUC. The union has a responsibility to support reps from the day they are elected into the role. Usdaw provides core training for all Shop Stewards, Health and Safety reps and Union Learning Reps. Usdaw is committed to developing reps so they can play a fuller and wider role in their workplace. The Union's Academy Programme has played an important role in building the Union and it has also helped to further develop reps.

For the past 12 years, Usdaw, though the union learning fund (ULF), has been committed to improving access to learning and development for our members. Usdaw's current ULF project is a national project aimed at developing and embedding a sustainable Learning and Skills strategy within the union. It is supported by a Lifelong Learning team of 12, including a National co-ordinator and nine Regional project workers.

Usdaw works successfully in partnership with 30+ private sector employers to make learning a reality, setting up more than 60 workplace Learning Centres and developing a network of 800+ active Union Learning Reps who are fully integrated into the union's structures. Through ULF, Usdaw generates and supports more than 8000 learners each year – the majority of whom are returning to learning for the first time and have few or no qualifications.