From education to employment

UCU claim they were not consulted in process

A union has expressed its concern over the recent announcement that funding for some short courses including health & safety and first aid will be withdrawn.

The University and College Union (UCU) sent a letter to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) earlier this week asking whether the Health and Safety Commission, lecturers, or any other organisations had been consulted. The concern was raised following the LSC’s recent statement of annual priorities, entitled “Raising Our Game”.

Further, they ask what evidence exists to suggest that employers currently sending workers on LSC-funded courses will provide alternative safety training to “a decent standard”.

Roger Kline, Head of Equality and Employment Rights at the UCU, commented: “Making the decision to close these courses should have been done in consultation with the Health and Safety Commission. We wonder if that was the case. Feedback from our members who teach these courses suggests that they were not consulted”.

“Lecturers are astonished at the suggestion that these courses will now be carried out as part of the employer’s statutory duties. Given that we know that one in three employers do not offer any training whatsoever, we are not confident that they will step in to the breach and provide these courses themselves”.

“There is a risk we”ll end up with workplaces where nobody is trained in the basics of health and safety, first aid, and food safety”, Mr Kline added.

Vijay Pattni.

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