From education to employment

Union in Train to Gain link-up with employers

Government ministers yesterday joined forces with union officials to help propagate the new Train to Gain programme.

An array of influential speakers joined the conference at Ipswich Football Club ““ organised by unionlearn, the Trades Union Congress” (TUC) learning and skills organisation – to advise union full-time officers and union learning representatives on how to promote the new Train to Gain scheme.

Barry Francis, Southern and Eastern Manager for unionlearn said: “This is an exciting new service designed to help businesses, and trade union members employed by them, to get the training they need to succeed”.

unionlearn, in the Eastern region, now has over 1,000 union learning reps helping their colleagues at work onto courses such as literacy, numeracy, IT, and English language.

Developed by national and regional Learning and Skills Council (LSC) employees with TUC representatives, the Train to Gain scheme builds upon the successful Employer Training Pilots, as a new way of working with employers offering them access to a range of flexible, high quality training solutions to their skills needs, decided through an independent and impartial brokerage system.

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It will cost the government £230 million in its first year, plus £68 million to cover the cost of brokerage and learners wage costs. Employers will agree the training they require with independent skills brokers, and then select which providers they wish to use.

The LSC states that Train to gain is critically important because if businesses are to be successful they need to compete, and to compete they need to train their employees.

Bill Rammell, Harlow MP and Minister of State for Lifelong Learning said: “This Government is strongly committed to working with our partners to ensure the success of our national employer status, Train to Gain”.

Roisin Kiernan.

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