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Save UnionLearn: Usdaw writes to all MPs urging them to back the campaign to reverse the Government's funding cut

Date: 23 October 2020 The Government has announced that it will be scrapping the Union Learning Fund in England next year and Usdaw, along with other trade unions and the TUC, are calling for the move to be reconsidered. To close a unique scheme that provides access to learning for around 200,000 workers each year and has been running since 1998 at a time when it is needed most makes no sense.
UnionLearn provides lifelong learning in partnership with employers, education providers and trade unions in workplaces across the country. MPs can show their support for the campaign to save it by signing a cross-party House of Commons early day Motion promoted by Grahame Morris MP (Labour Easington) and Robert Halfon MP (Conservative, Harlow)
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We have written to all MPs in England asking them to support the Save UnionLearn campaign, by urging the Government to reconsider their plans to scrap the Union Learning Fund.
 
“Learning and re-skilling must be at the core of the Covid-19 recovery, so it makes no sense for the Government to end the Union Learning Fund next year. This unique scheme brings lifelong learning into many workplaces, pulling together the resources of employers, education providers and trade unions to give workers a second chance to learn.
 
“UnionLearn reaches the people other schemes do not, with workplace union reps supporting and guiding workers back into education. Many learners start with few or no qualifications and have gone on to engage with higher level education, like an apprenticeship. We urge MPs to support the campaign and call on the Government to reverse their decision.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
 
Early Day Motion 1039 – Union Learn: That this House recognises the exemplary and invaluable role played by Unionlearn in helping people acquire skills and qualifications to boost their job prospects and make a valuable contribution to the economy; applauds Unionlearn for aiding hundreds of thousands of learners at all levels, from basic numeracy and literacy to degree level qualifications; notes that during the past 12 years more than 40,000 Union Learning Representatives have been trained, and over a quarter of a million people are being given training and learning opportunities through their union every year; is appalled that the Government intends to axe this vital resource at such a challenging time for education, employment and the economy; and calls upon the Government to reconsider and reverse this damaging decision. Amendment 1: At end add 'and urges the Secretary of State for Education to consider the value Unionlearn offers in promoting skills and opportunities and to reinstate the scheme.' https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57606
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers