Latest news

The Demands of a Changing Labour Market and Union Learning

Trade union members from across Scotland will come together today, Wednesday, 15 November 2017, at the COSLA Centre in Edinburgh, to attend the 10th Annual Scottish Union Learning Conference. The theme of the Conference is: “The Demands of a Changing Labour Market.” This national conference will bring together 120 representatives from 23 trade unions in Scotland.

The Conference will be addressed by Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training, and Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary. The Minister will also present the 7th Annual STUC Learner of the Year Award. Other invited speakers include Suzie Bowman from Skills Development Scotland and Atta Yaqub, Actor and Community Activist.

Delegates will have opportunities to discuss the role of union learning in meeting the demands of a changing labour market through participation in workshops that focus on tackling inequality, empowering workers in the gig economy, cyber security, and apprenticeships.

Other key points on the day will include:

* Panel Session on the demands of a changing labour market;

* Speech from Brian Ronald, recipient of the 2017 STUC Helen Dowie Award for Lifelong Learning; and

* Speech from Sharon Sweeney, recipient of the 2017 STUC Equality Award.

Wendy Burton, Director of Scottish Union Learning, said:

“The Scottish Union Learning Conference provides Union Learning Reps with an opportunity to explore developments in work-based learning and to share good practice. This year’s conference will focus on the demands of a changing labour market, with unions uniquely positioned to drive forward the learning and skills required in a constantly evolving environment, for example, rapid advances in technology, the gig economy, and an aging workforce.”

Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, said:

“Trade unions play a crucial role in supporting the development of our workforce through workplace learning, helping workers to adapt and thrive in our evolving labour market.

“That is why we maintained funding this year for Scottish Union Learning and provided more than £2 million to support the training needs of thousands of people, which is helping people to realise their potential and progress in work. We have also committed a second year of funding to the Trade Union Fair Work and Modernisation Fund which will help unions embed the Fair Work Framework in workplaces.”


Notes for editors

* Scottish Union Learning is part of the STUC and was launched in May 2008. Scottish Union Learning works in partnership with unions to drive forward trade union-led learning in Scotland and administers the Learning Fund and Development Funds, which are supported by the Scottish Government.

* Union Learning Representatives support union members in accessing training, new skills and personal development. They liaise directly with fellow workers, employers and training providers to identify a range of learning opportunities and make them available to the workforce. Unions and Union Learning Reps provide learning and skills support to many of the 570,000 trade unionists in Scotland who are affiliated to the STUC.

* The Scottish Union Learning Conference is supported by key partners such as the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Skills Development Scotland.

* Scottish Union Learning supports trade unions in accessing skills and lifelong learning opportunities for their members that contribute to collective prosperity, fairness and equality, for workers across Scotland.

For further information please contact:

Jennifer Payne, Marketing Officer

Scottish Union Learning

Tel: 0141 337 8130