This Working Pâper by Bert Clough of Unionlearn, an organisation established by the Trades Union Congress in the UK, provides a historic review of the government skills strategy in the UK and of the partnership response of the trade union movement. It describes the rise of the Union Learning Representative (ULR), achieving national and statutory recognition. Their key role is to raise the demand for learning especially among workers with low or no qualifications. Their functions include:
- training needs analysis
- providing information and advice on training
- promoting the value of training
- arranging training
- consulting with employers.
In one recent survey, 85% reported offering information, advice and guidance.
The paper also describes the experience of trade unions in other countries in similar activities.
The proximity of the ULRs to the workforce is another example of how access to guidance at the workplace can be organised.