Trade unions have a key role to play in promoting the development of learning and skills in the workplace. To help them do this more effectively we introduced the Union Learning Fund in 1998. This source of funding is helping 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.
With the help of the Union Learning Fund, trade unions and their union learning representatives have been able to develop successful partnerships with employers to raise skill levels in the workplace. There are now over 20,500 trained union learning reps who have helped more than 600,000 workers back into learning since the fund was introduced. Over 200,000 were helped last year, many from those hard to reach groups, who employers and training providers find it so difficult to engage with, including over 34,000 workers with poor basic literacy and numeracy skills.
Union Learning Fund resources are allocated directly to trade unions at a national or regional level. Detailed information on the number of workplaces involved and the associated level of funding at a constituency level is not held by the Department.