From education to employment

UK’s Leading Union Offer Expertise in Learning to Private Sector

Britain’s largest union has announced today that it is ready and willing to open up their learning centres to the private sector in a bid to build up closer relationships between the public and private sectors.

The scheme is set to enable private sector employers to make use of the union’s extensive network of workplace learning centres. UNISON, which has more than 1.3 million members from across the public sector, delivers tailored educational courses to the public sector in areas such as English as a first language, basic computer skills and literacy, thus offering those in employment in the public services the opportunity to improve their skills levels in the workplace.

Making Use of the Knowledge Tools

This project will see UNISON offering their hard ““ won expertise in this area to private employers who often lack the resources to provide training for their staff in these areas. Speaking about the venture, UNISON’s General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “Some private companies don”t have the resources to offer training to these workers. We can offer bespoke courses that meet their needs.”

He went on to discuss some of the skills development areas that this measure will seek to address, saying: “Our union has the knowledge and experience of delivering training to those that need it the most, the low paid, low skilled workforce. Many of these are from ethnic minorities who do not have English as a first language.”

Business Benefits

Mr. Prentis believes that this programme will benefit the businesses that choose to make use of it just as much as the employees. He commented: “It is not only the workers that will benefit, but also the business. Training will give the employees the skills they need to do their jobs better while also giving a new resource for the company.”

The offer from UNISON will, it is hoped, mark a new beginning in building up partnerships with private businesses. “This will not be offered to everyone,” said Mr. Prentis. “We would like the private sector companies applying to offer a partnership with UNISON. In return for our expertise in workplace learning we would like greater recognition, and better negotiating rights. This will allow our partnerships to grow in the private companies with benefits for all.”

Jethro Marsh

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