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As you may be aware, POA Learning is funded by the Union Learning Fund, a government fund with the aim of supporting trade unions to widen access to learning and training in workplaces whilst also supporting community members to build key skills.
On Tuesday 6 October 2020, POA Learning received a letter from the Department for Education saying that without any negotiation Ministers have decided to end the Union Learning Fund from March 2021. This fund is key to maintaining our project; without it, unfortunately, POA Learning, under the Union Learning Fund, will no longer be able to continue.
In 2019–20, the ULF was worth £12m. It supported more than 200,000 learners in workplaces across England – both union members and non-members. This decision will effectively end union-brokered skills training and will undermine key government skills and retraining priorities at a crucial moment for our economy. The TUC and unions believe this decision is counterproductive and must be reversed.
As a POA member, you will be aware of the impact that the POA’s ULF project has had within establishments around the country, and of its success over the years. I am asking if you will support the POA’s campaign to seek to overturn this government decision? We are asking all branch members to:
The campaign will be a positive, non-partisan campaign focussed on the benefits of the Union Learning Fund to workers, employers and the wider economy. We believe this decision to be mistaken, and out of kilter with the direction of the government’s skills policy and believe it can still be reversed.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.