Vocational Training: Trade Unions

Innovation, Universities and Skills written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships)

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much funding is being provided for trades union educational programmes in 2008-09.

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

Trade unions have a key role to play in promoting the development of learning and skills in the workplace. To help them do this the Government introduced the Union Learning Fund in 1998 to enable trade unions use their influence with employers, employees and training providers to encourage greater take up of learning at work and boost their own capacity as learning organisations. The Government will invest £21.5 million through the Union Learning Fund in 2008-09.

With the help of the Union Learning Fund, trade unions and their Union Learning Representatives have been really successful in working with employees and employers to raise skill levels in the workplace. There are now over 20,500 trained Union Learning Representatives who have helped over 600,000 workers into learning since the fund was introduced in 1998, and over 200,000 last year alone - including over 34,000 workers with poor basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Union Learning Representatives and other trade union representatives and officers can also access LSC-funded training, delivered through a network of approved colleges, to help them carry out their duties more effectively.

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