Education: Trade Unions

Innovation, Universities and Skills written question – answered on 24th January 2008.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many trained union learning representatives there were in each year for which figures are available.

Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) (Skills)

Union learning representatives (ULRs) are lay union representatives, whose main function is to advise union members about their training, educational and development needs. Since the launch of the Union Learning Fund (ULF) in 1998, and the introduction of statutory rights for ULRs to train and carry out their duties in 2003, more than 18,000 have been trained helping more than 400,000 people into learning.

Both employers and workers stand to benefit from ULRs. They are an inexpensive source of expert advice for employers. They are particularly effective in reaching workers with basic skills needs—people who may be reluctant to take advantage of training opportunities. In that sense, ULRs help to stimulate a demand for learning and training among a group which employers find it hard to reach.

Rounded figures for trained ULRs since April 1999 are as follows:

As at April each year Number
1999 730
2000 1,600
2001 3,000
2002 4,700
2003 6,700
2004 10,300
2005 14,000
2006 16,000
2007 18,000

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