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Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2011, Official Report, columns 720-22W, on trade unions: training, if he will publish a detailed breakdown on how all funding from the public purse has been spent by the union learning fund and unionlearn in each year since 2007-08.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes The Minister for Universities and Science, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

holding answer 28 April 2011

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) provides funding directly to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) under an annual grant agreement to support the Union Learning Fund (ULF) and unionlearn, the TUC's learning and skills organisation. The main purpose of this budget is to enable trade unions and Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) to work with employers, employees and learning providers to encourage greater take up of learning and raise skill levels in the workplace.

A detailed breakdown of the direct grant funding that was allocated by BIS and its predecessor Departments for each of the last three financial years is set out in the following table. Final details for the 2010-11 financial year will not be available until June 2011. The TUC also publishes an annual report for unionlearn which sets out in more detail how the funding has been used each year. The reports for 2008, 2009 and 2010 are available on the TUC's unionlearn website:

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10
Total staffing costs (including on costs) 3,777,263 4,495,536 4,850,137
Administration, accommodation and overheads 1,251,187 1,434,463 1,536,548
Union Learning Fund (grants to unions for ULF projects) 13,371,550 15,470,001 15,113,315
Total unionlearn grant funding 18,400,000 21,400,000 21,500,000

The TUC has also received funding to support unionlearn activity at a regional level from the Skills Funding Agency (formerly the Learning and Skills Council) and a number of regional development agencies all of which received grant funding from BIS's predecessor Departments. Detailed information relating to such expenditure will be held at a regional level for audit purposes but is not recorded centrally. An exercise to research and collate such information for each SFA region and RDA would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

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