Workplace Report June 2007

Learning and training news

Happy birthday unionlearn

Unionlearn, the TUC's learning and skills organisation, celebrated its first birthday this month with the announcement of a 50% increase in the number of union learners.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber told unionlearn's "One year on" conference that there are now 18,000 union learning reps, who have supported over 150,000 people to access courses, an increase of 50% on last year.

Unionlearn announced new partnership agreements with sector skills councils "that will bring significant benefits to large numbers of workers".

The organisation already has agreements with the Open University, Investors in People, and the National Extension College that provide benefits in terms of cheaper courses and easier access to information, advice and guidance. It is also engaged in new informal work with organisations like the BBC, bringing its "Reading and Writing" project into thousands of new workplaces.

Unionlearn is now working with the government online learning service, learndirect, to provide careers advice. Director Liz Smith said: "In the past only students leaving college had access to careers advice and guidance. But we want everyone to be able to find out about how and where they can learn, and what funding opportunities there are - all they need to do is call 08000 92 91 90."