New Development Fund for Workplace Skills

May 18th 2010

More than 5,000 workers will benefit from learning and skills development through trade unions as a result of Scottish Government and European funding.

In April this year, Scottish Union Learning launched its Development Fund. This is a new fund that will assist trade unions to develop their work around workplace learning and skills.

Trade unions support a wide spectrum of workers, including those who have no or low qualifications, those who have literacy and numeracy needs and also high skilled workers across all industries. This diversity is reflected in the 19 Projects from 13 unions that will run during the next year.

Equal opportunities are built into each project, both in terms of managing the initiative and in ensuring that individuals are assisted in overcoming the obstacles that prevent them from participating in learning. Development activity by different unions is set to run in hundreds of workplaces and within certain geographical areas. In all projects, development activity will explicitly lead to learning opportunities for workers. The Development Fund does not directly fund learning, but will be used to complement existing union strategies on lifelong learning.

Keith Brown, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, said:

“Skills are high on the Scottish Government’s agenda. We recognise the clear link between a highly skilled, well-motivated workforce and a strong Scottish economy.

“That is why projects like this are so important. Unions know their members better than anyone and are able to effectively identify need and provide the training necessary to enable thousands of Scottish workers to develop their skills and as a result, their career prospects.”

Anne Douglas, Scottish Union Learning Board Chair, said:

"The STUC is committed to supporting, practicing and promoting equality of opportunity. Through the Development Fund, Scottish Union Learning will work with trade unions to tackle the barriers to skills and learning opportunities faced by disadvantaged groups to ensure equality of opportunity."

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Jennifer Payne, Marketing Officer Scottish Union Learning Tel: 0141 337 8130

                                            Email: <jpayne@stuc.org.uk>

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