Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw)

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.


Unions prepare for Learning at Work Week


Learning Centres and union learning reps across the country are gearing up for another busy Learning at Work Week. This year the annual week of workplace activities takes place from 14th – 20th May and is an ideal opportunity for unions to promote learning in the...

Tina Davies organising Welsh language learning in stores

At a Check Out Learning event in February at my own store, Tesco Broughton, 12 people expressed an interest in taking a Welsh course, so I went ahead and organised it. Seems pretty simple on paper to set up a course like this doesn’t it? But, as my story shows, ULRs...

Usdaw and Tesco Goole embrace diversity to deliver international results

Case study

What do 22 workers at Tesco Goole from 11 different nationalities all have in common?  They all achieved Functional Skills qualifications in English as a part of a Learning and Development programme delivered for the learning partnership between Usdaw and Tesco by...

Usdaw and Sainsbury’s help staff to boost careers through learning

Case study

Usdaw’s Lifelong Learning Campaign supports people who want to learn for many different reasons: for fun, for personal development, for work and for career change and development. So, when Sainsbury’s introduced a new system of appraisal, called “Be Your Best,” Union...

Determination and union support result in Lee starting apprenticeship

Case study

Lee Hughes first approached Usdaw in September 2014 when he asked to do the Warehousing and Storage apprenticeship at JD Williams Hadfield. On his initial assessment Lee struggled with his maths, coming out at Entry 2. The Usdaw Mobile Union Learning Rep explained...

Implementing an inclusive approach to apprenticeship support

Case study

When Usdaw union learning rep (ULR) coordinator Sean Dixon found out that one of his learners was struggling with some aspects of his IT apprenticeship, he stepped in to see how he could help.  Sean runs The Learning Zone at the Argos Castleford Distribution Centre...