In recent years, the Scottish Government has provided funding to the STUC to promote, develop, and support trade union-led learning and skills. This has been taken forward by Scottish Union Learning through two main funds: the Development Fund, which facilitates the development of infrastructure within trade unions and supports the organisation and delivery of trade union-led learning in the workplace, and the Learning Fund, which provides funds to support the learning activity.
The STUC has been successful in securing funding in the current financial year to support the Learning Fund, the Development Fund, and Fair Work: Leadership and Equality Programme.
Scottish Union Learning accepted applications for funding from bona fide trade unions with membership based within Scotland. The bids outlined strategy for a maximum two-year period 2021/23 from either the Development Fund or the Learning Fund. Applications to these funds have now closed.
These funds are being made available to unions, through Scottish Union Learning, to support the work that they do in accessing a wide range of skills and lifelong learning opportunities for their members.
The Development Fund
The Development Fund supports trade unions in developing infrastructure to improve access to skills and learning for Scottish workers and to work with employers and external agencies to drive skills and innovation within the workplace.
In Lowlands and Uplands, Aegis, BFAWU, Community, EIS, FBU, NUJ, PCS, Prospect, RMT, SAU, UNISON, Unite, USDAW and Young Workers have received development funding for 2022-23.
In the Highlands and Islands, NUJ, RMT, SAU, UNISON and Unite have also received development funding this year.
The Learning Fund
The Learning Fund finances collective learning provision. Delivery of these learning opportunities is currently predominantly online due to the Covid pandemic, but is normally in the workplace or at an agreed alternative location. The Learning Fund is funding of last resort and unions will need to demonstrate that all other avenues of funding have been exhausted before applying to the Fund.
Fair Work: Leadership and Equality Programme
The STUC has obtained funding from the Scottish Government's Fair Work Directorate to enable Scottish Union Learning to provide support to unions in developing work around leadership and promoting equalities.
This funding is specifically aimed at developing leadership and promoting equalities at all levels within trade unions. Unions are invited to apply for funding, individually or collectively, to allow them to create new and original activities.
The programme will support the diversification of leadership within the trade union movement and will help provide trade unionists with the skills to identify and nurture new leaders from under-represented groups within their union or increase the capacity of unions to deliver on the equalities agenda.