Union members receive more training compared to non-members, says TUC

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date: Thursday 21 May 2015

embargo: 00.01 Friday 22 May 2015

A new TUC report published today (Friday) shows that workers who are trade union members are much more likely to receive job-related training compared to workers who don’t belong to a union.

The report, Skills and training: the union advantage, analyses data for the period 2001-2013 and shows that the ‘union effect’ on training is very significant and has strengthened in recent years.

The analysis finds that during and after the recent recession the advantage of being in a trade union for job-related training was even more pronounced. Between 2008 and 2013 the proportion of union members accessing regular training went up from 36.8 per cent to 38.9 per cent, while the opposite trend occurred for non-unionised employees (down from 23.4 per cent to 22.9 per cent).

This meant that in 2013 nearly four in ten union members received job-related training compared to just over two in ten non-union members.

The report also found the added benefit of a boost to wage levels and job security in those workplaces where a union advantage on training could be identified. Employers also reported an overall improvement in employee performance in such workplaces.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “At a time when the Conservatives are focusing on restricting the democratic rights of union members, it is important that all politicians accept the benefits of belonging to a union.

“The evidence shows it is possible to have a win-win situation for both employers and employees, and that unions are playing a hugely positive role in boosting skills and productivity.

“The bounce back in training in unionised workplaces in recent years is further evidence of the positive role unions have played in negotiating with employers to minimise layoffs and to safeguard skills since the recession hit the UK economy.

“It also shows that unions can play to their strengths in those workplaces with active union learning representatives and where the union negotiates directly with the employer about learning and skills.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Rates of job-related education/training  across different population groups related to unions.

Year

Union Members

Non union members

Difference

2001

38.1%

24.7%

13.4%

2002

39.1 %

24.8%

14.3%

2003

38.7%

23.7%

15%

2004

39.2%

25.3%

13.9%

2005

40.2%

24.8%

15.4%

2006

38.1%

23.6%

14.5%

2007

38.2%

23.6%

14.6%

2008

36.8%

23.4%

13.4%

2009

37.4%

22.4%

15%

2010

37.3%

22.1%

15.2%

2011

37.9%

23.0%

14.9%

2012

37.8%

22.7%

15.1%

2013

38.9%

22.9%

16%

- The report’s conclusions are based on analysis of the Labour Force Survey covering the period 2001-2013 and the 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Survey. You can see the full report here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/Skils_and_training.pdf

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
 

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