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Understanding union learning

Union learning is having a significant impact on the UK economy, according to the latest Employment Relations Comment article from Acas. But what is union learning and how can it benefit the workforce at large?

Union learning is way of providing learning opportunities for members, representatives and other professionals via unions and partner employers and organisations. The learning could be at any level, from degree-level qualifications to essential numeracy and literacy skills for those who have had limited access to education in the past.

The Acas article, pdf  The Double Benefit of Union Learning [232kb] by Tom Wilson, Director of Unionlearn, picks out two main advantages. On a macro level, the upskilling of the UK workforce boosts national productivity and helps secure the country's position in the 'higher value areas of the global economy'.

At the other end of the spectrum, individuals develop new skills and competencies, grow in confidence, realise potential and make a fuller contribution in the workplace and in society as a whole. The nurturing of a learning culture also raises levels of employee engagement in the workplace, delivering benefits to workers and employers alike.

Research found that the majority managers who had union learning representatives at their place of work reported improved levels of trust and staff morale. Two-fifths said organisational performance was also better.

Acas can help your organisation with many issues related to Representation and improving employee engagement. Training courses geared to the latter are listed under Staff retention on the Acas website

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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