Union Learning Fund (ULF) – Planned Cessation in England
The CWU has received notification of the Government’s intention to cease funding for the Union Learning Fund (ULF) in England at the end of this financial year (31st March 2021). This disappointing news comes at a time when many of our members and people in the world of work more generally face a very uncertain and precarious future.
In relative terms, the Treasury Budget allocated to the ULF is very small and Branches will be aware that our consecutive ULF supported projects, assisted by our network of Union Learning Reps (ULRs) has a proven track record over the last two decades.
We consider that education and skills should be at the heart of the Government’s response to Covid-19 with ULR input. The CWU has consistently delivered excellent value for money, delivering high quality educational outcomes year-on-year providing learning opportunities for many thousands of our members.
Numerous case studies exist detailing how union learning has allowed our members to develop their skills, careers, enhance confidence and improve their mental health. Indeed, some of our wellbeing workshops have actually saved lives.
During the pandemic, we have been piloting a range of distance learning opportunities to support our members education, skills and mental health and any cessation of the ULF will clearly put all this and any future strategy objectives at risk.
We are in contact with the TUC, Unionlearn and the Labour Party to argue for this decision to be reversed and will provide further updates and information on how Branches may be able to assist in due course.
Any queries on this LTB should be directed to Equality&Education@cwu.org
Head of Equality, Education & Development