From education to employment

Cooperation is key unionlearn director tells minister.

Liz Smith, unionlearn director at the TUC, outlined the importance of union and employer cooperation for workplace learning to succeed at a meeting yesterday with Skills Minister John Denham

Liz Smith, unionlearn director said: “Union and employer cooperation is a “magic bullet” for workplace learning. When employers work with trade unions through the Union Learning Reps in the workplace, they get a better skilled workforce and individuals improve their skills. The Further Education sector is the vital glue that makes this possible as providers of education and the College of North East London (CONeL) is a wonderful partner, which has enabled thousands of trade unionists across London to access education.”

The meeting, held at the College of North East London (CONeL), saw a number of key Union Learning Reps from Enfield Council, Metroline, Sainsbury’s and Barking and Dagenham Council tell the Minister about how union-led learning is transforming workplaces.

The employers also highlighted the benefits to businesses and HR that have resulted from working in partnership with trade unions such as UNISON, Unite, GMB and USDAW on workplace learning.

The meeting also heard from Paul Head, Principal and Chief Executive of CONeL, a key education provider in the provision of workbased learning. He said: “When you get employers and unions working together with a first rate college like CONeL you have a recipe for success. Our experience shows that the demand for new skills for the workforce is huge. Our top priority is to respond flexibly to that demand and provide training of the highest quality. I am delighted that the Secretary of State is here to witness this at first hand.”

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