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Unionlearn is responsible for union development in England, including the Union Learning Fund, as well as the TUC Education Service, which covers the whole United Kingdom. It is partly supported through DIUS grant. The main functions of unionlearn are to:

  • provide an enhanced trade union education service for the training of union reps and professionals.
  • develop the key role of union learning representatives (ULRs) in raising demand for learning, especially among workers with low skill levels and skills for life needs.
  • provide quality information, advice and guidance (IAG) to learners, linked to the union learning 'climbing frame' – an online tool for ULRs to help learner progression.
  • assist unions to secure quality learning provision, including extending the use of the already successful unionlearn Quality Award.
  • support the network of union learning centres such as U-net.
  • provide a support network to help unions engage with and have impact on bodies such as sector skills councils.
  • establish a research and strategy function to identify, disseminate and mainstream good practice, and sponsor research where needed.
  • build union capacity to sustain and embed work on learning and skills so that it becomes a core activity for all trade unions, in particular by integrating ULRs into workplace union organisation.
  • manage and administer the Union Learning Fund on behalf of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Unionlearn does not seek to replace unions' own learning programmes, but adds value to them instead. It has its own identity and is established under the auspices of the TUC with headquarters in Congress House, further teams in each TUC regional office, and project workers in the field. Unionlearn is headed by a director, who leads a senior team of six regional and six national managers. The regional managers work closely with TUC Regional Secretaries.

Visit the unionlearn website for more information.

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