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26 September 2006

LRD booklet offers a guide to workplace training initiatives
The last two years have seen significant developments in the learning and skills agenda, with new learning opportunities for workers. Unions have been part of this progress at national, regional and local levels - not least through their network of union learning reps. These reps, who can also play a key role in union recruitment initiatives, need clear information and guidance on learning and skills issues.

In LRD's latest booklet, Learning and skills - a trade unionist's guide, you'll find a wealth of information about:

  • unions' increasing role in workplace learning, through their own initiatives and their participation in bodies such as Sector Skills Councils;
  • government policy on learning and skills;
  • the make-up and functions of official learning bodies; and

  • the impact on vocational training of new legislation outlawing age discrimination.

Current training initiatives aiming to improve the skills of workers at all levels include the "Skills for life" and "Train to gain" programmes, the learndirect "Learning through work" scheme and new vocational qualifications. Learning and skills - a trade unionist's guide explains these different schemes, and examines how union learning reps can access them for their members and colleagues. Also included is advice and best practice from unions and the TUC on negotiating a learning agreement, and a guide to the new TUC body unionlearn.

Written in a clear, straightforward style, this 48-page booklet is a valuable resource for learning reps and others interested in lifelong learning and unions' role in developing workers' skills.

Notes to editors
1. Learning and skills - a trade unionist's guide is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?4.70 or ?11.40 for employers or commercial organisations. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?34.45 (?76.95 for employers/ commercial organisations). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.

2. The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded more than 90 years ago. Around 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3. For press enquiries about this booklet, contact Steph Peck on 020 7902 9825. To order copies of the booklet, telephone 020 7928 3649.

4. Full information about all LRD's services and publications is available on the LRD website at www.lrd.org.uk

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