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The TUC North West and Trade Union Education have called for the planned closure of the trade union education unit at Blackburn College and job losses to be halted.

This follows the announcement from Blackburn College that they plan to make staff redundant and close the unit. UCU have today launched a campaign halt the planned job losses.

The unit, which is the only one in Lancashire, has delivered training to thousands of trade union reps, including important health and safety training for use in the workplace, and has continued to support them even during the current pandemic.

The decision to close it would leave trade unions in the county without a place to access learning, with nearest college being in Manchester or Warrington.

Jay McKenna, TUC North West regional secretary, said: “The loss of jobs, and the Trade Union Education unit, can be avoided.

“We know the important role trade unions have in workplaces. This is even clearer to everyone during the current crisis.

“Our trade union reps are vital, working with employers during the pandemic to make work safer. It’s going to be even more important to have trained health and safety reps as we return to work and begin to work in a new ‘normal’.

“To remove the trade union education unit when it is needed now more than ever is short-sighted. We’re willing to sit and talk with the college management, alongside UCU, to keep the unit open and continue providing an important service in Lancashire.”

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