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Union-led learning trumpeted as “magic bullet”

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The key to workplace learning is cooperation between the employer and the union, according to the TUC’s unionlearn.

Liz Smith, unionlearn director, is due to set out her beliefs in a meeting at the College of North East London (CONeL) with the secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills, John Denham MP.

Smith said: “Union and employer cooperation is a ‘magic bullet’ for workplace learning. When employers work with trade unions through the union learning reps in the workplace, they get a better skilled workforce and individuals improve their skills.

“The further education sector is the vital glue that makes this possible as providers of education and CONeL is a wonderful partner, which has enabled thousands of trade unionists across London to access education.”

Paul Head, principal and chief executive of CONeL said: “Our experience shows that the demand for new skills for the workforce is huge. Our top priority is to respond flexibly to that demand and provide training of the highest quality. I am delighted that the secretary of state is here to witness this at first hand.”

The TUC established unionlearn to help unions to become learning organisations, with programmes for union reps and regional officers and strategic support for national officers.

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Annie Hayes

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