Skills Minister hails union learning as a lifeline for workplace learners.
Minister for Skills David Lammy relaunched a network which has worked with over 100 trade union learning centres on Wednesday.
Mr Lammy described the network which helps thousands of learners onto courses to improve their skills as a ‘lifeline for learners’. The relaunched network will be called U-Net and is a partnership between unionlearn (the TUC’s learning and skills organisation), LearnDirect, colleges and employers.
U-Net will offer flexible courses which can be studied at homes, in dedicated centres or online. The network has supported more than 32,000 learners through 80,000 courses since it was set up in 2002.
David Lammy MP, Minister for Skills said: "Unions and union learning reps are doing a fantastic job in encouraging their members and work colleagues to improve their skills. Working together with employers, union-led learning is a lifeline for workplace learners to increase their skills, which benefits them, their families and employers. U-Net centres are beacons of opportunity, attracting ever increasing numbers of learners."
The Minister, a strong supporter of union-led learning, spoke alongside the key organisers of the U-Net and heard from union learning reps and learning centre managers. They explained the successes of workplace learning centres and how they are able to help people traditionally thought of as hard to reach, to return to education. Together unionlearn and trade unions have encouraged over 150,000 learners back into education through their network of over 18,000 union learning reps
Liz Smith, unionlearn Director said: "Launching U-Net is a real chance to raise the profile of union learning centres and to praise all the hard work that union learning reps, good employers and unions are doing together. Those 30,000 individuals across the country who have used U-Net centres have a good reason to celebrate U-Net’s achievements."
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