LET’S stop the Government scrapping the Union Learning Fund in England at the end of March.

This unique scheme provides lifelong learning in many local workplaces, bringing together employers, education providers and trade unions to give workers a second chance at learning by contributing time, money and resources.

Learning and re-skilling will be core to helping us recover from the impact of Covid-19 and dealing with the changing world of work because of automation.

While we welcome the Government’s plans to invest £2.5 billion through the National Skills Fund, we are concerned about how effective that investment will be and who it will reach.

In our experience, union learning is uniquely able to engage and support thousands of ‘disadvantaged’ learners.

Most had few, if any, qualifications and would never have considered attending a college, or signing up for an on-line course, if it were not for the support and encouragement of Union Learning reps in the workplace. Union Learn reaches the workers other schemes do not.

The cost of gaining new skills shouldn’t be out of reach for low paid key workers.

We are asking the Chancellor to recognise the value of union learning and provide the necessary £12 million in the Budget on 3 March.

I ask readers to support the campaign by signing the online TUC petition at usd.aw/ulfpetition


Usdaw General Secretary