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More Workers Learning Through Unions

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The number of people using their unions to access training at work has risen by 9% in the last 12 months to 67,000.

Meanwhile, union learning representatives - union members tasked with helping their colleagues access training opportunities at work - have risen by 50% from 8,000 to almost 12,000.

The figures, from the TUC, released in advance of its annual union learning fund conference, also show an increase in the number of learning agreements between employers and unions, with 278 new agreements signed involving learning reps and promoting union learning amongst the workforce.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said that union learning reps were bringing thousands of people back to learning.

"We now need to push on to ensure that every worker has the chance to maximise their full potential and access the training they need," he added. "A union academy is the next step for the trade union movement to bring together the multitude of training opportunities unions already offer."

Skills Minister Phil Hope MP called the union learning fund a huge success and reiterated the government's commitment to the ULF with an increase in funding to £15 million for this year and next.

"To build on the success of the ULF we are now supporting the union movement's ambitious plan to develop a union academy. This will be a centre of excellence and catalyst for our national learning revolution."

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