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The Union Learning Fund (ULF) was established in 1998 by the then Government, with the objective of creating a “learning society”. The primary aim of the fund, which is now managed and administered by unionlearn, was to “develop the capacity of trade unions and Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) to work with employers, employees and learning providers to encourage greater take up of learning in the workplace”.

The ULF is not used to fund the provision of training courses, but enables trade unions and their union learning representatives (ULR) to provide advice, guidance and support in order to help workers access learning opportunities to improve their skill levels.

Unionlearn has reported that for every £1 that is invested in the ULF, it generates a return of £12.30 consisting of an economic return of £7.60 to the individual and £4.70 to the employer.

In 2018, the TUC reported that nearly a quarter of a million employees are supported into learning or training with union support facilitated through the ULF.

In October 2020 the Government wrote to the TUC to inform it that it will end the Union Learning Fund in March 2021.

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