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TUC Unveils Plans for Union Academy


The TUC is set to publish plans for a Union Academy in a bid to increase the skills of Britain's workforce.

Set up, owned and run by unions, the Academy will commission courses from colleges, universities and other providers in the aim of meeting the needs of both employers and employees.

In a consultation document, the TUC states that employers lose an estimated £10 billion every year through poor basic skills in the workforce.

It envisages the academy will help broker partnerships between employers, employees and learning providers, increase workers' accessibility to learning and become a powerful voice on national debates about education and training.

The plans are backed by Secretary of State for Education, Charles Clarke.

In his keynote address to TUC Congress in Brighton today (Tuesday), Mr Clarke will say the Academy has the potential to raise the hopes and ambitions of thousands of workers who have previously been failed by the education system.

The TUC currently trains over 100,000 members every year and over 7,000 union learning representatives are qualified to help their colleagues. Government, employers and organisations such as NIACE, the Open University, learndirect and City and Guilds have also given the Union Academy strong backing.

TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "By building on the grassroots work of union learning representatives, the Union Academy will deliver the training that employers and workers need."


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