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Union Learning Fund cut condemned, Usdaw delegates demand its return

Date: 03 May 2022 Usdaw’s Annual Delegate Meeting has today condemned the Government for scrapping the Union Learning Fund in England and demanded its reinstatement.
Addressing the annual conference, Dave McCrossen – Usdaw Deputy General Secretary said: “Investment in good quality education is something that benefits us all. When a society invests properly in someone's education, it doesn't just invest in one person. From training more doctors and nurses to staff the NHS, to helping improve people's Maths and English so that they can make an even greater contribution to our society. Education is something that benefits all of us, it makes a difference to the lives of everyone and it is something that benefits our trade union.
 
“The Conservative Party has time and time again proven that they do not value education. Cuts to the education system, a failed Apprenticeship Levy scheme and, disgracefully, the removal of the Union Learning Fund across England. All of this shows that the Conservatives do not have the interests of working people at heart. They never have, and they never will. The Conservative Party do not want our members to have the education and the chances in life that they have had.
 
“The Union Learning Fund had a fantastic record in supporting some of the most disadvantaged groups back into the classroom and gaining new skills. More than 250,000 union members returned to learning every year, helped by Union Learning funded projects. While these projects continue to deliver fantastic results in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is completely unacceptable that workers in England cannot get access to the skills provisions they so desperately need.
 
“The Union Learning Fund recognised the important role that trade unions can and do play in supporting our members back into the classroom. Usdaw Learning Reps are the heart of this work and Usdaw's Lifelong Learning project was one of the most respected projects in the trade union movement.
 
“When the Conservative Government decided to stop funding in England, they did so without consultation and without any serious attempt to explain their rationale. Because of the growth in new technology, nine-in-ten workers will need to be retrained over the next eight years, the trade union movement is perfectly placed to help deliver this training, which will ensure that members are given the right opportunities and support to protect them in the workplace.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
 
For further information please contact Usdaw’s Media Officer, David Williams on: 0161 249 2469, 07798 696 603 or by e-mail to [email protected]
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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