This government plans to cut the Union Learning Fund which, last year, supported over 200 thousand workers access skills training and helped them get back into learning.
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Here are some stories from UNISON members where the ULF has made a significant difference to their lives.
“The ULF helps people like me take a step further by using the fund to educate ourselves and become great role models for our children.”
Hasmita Dhamelia, teaching assistant, with the help of the Union Learning Fund (ULF).
“Union learning has helped me in many ways. It’s raised my confidence to approach on-line learning. It’s let me learn in my on time, at home, away from work, without worrying about how much will it cost. It gave me choices of subjects that would benefit me in my workplace, e.g., Makaton, using sign language with children. Without union learning, I wouldn’t have gained the confidence to approach managers and headteachers to discuss issues within the workplace. And it has has helped me encourage others to take up suitable learning to further their opportunities.
“The government should continue supporting the Union Learning Fund (ULF) to help all those who would otherwise not be able to afford to better themselves. We are a minority, who do not earn a lot – unlike government ministers – yet work very hard to make ends meet. The ULF helps people like me to take a step further by using the fund to educate ourselves and become great role models for our children not to fall in the same trap as those not having had the opportunity to educate themselves.”
“This funding is instrumental in making education accessible to all corners of the British community, including those who are under-represented or underprivileged.”
Ibrahim Abdikadir, London Ambulance Service emergency ambulance crew, currently working towards Functional Skills maths qualification with the help of the ULF.
“I’m doing a Functional Skills maths qualification with the help of the Union Learning Fund (ULF) and London Ambulance Service (LAS) UNISON Branch. You have to have Level 2 English and maths if you want to join the in-house paramedic course, so the course is brilliant for people who need to bridge that gap. There are 15 or 16 of us doing the maths course, and it really helps to be studying with colleagues who are doing the same job or working for LAS in different roles. You have familiar faces, which is very nice, and you’re all in the same boat. I did an entry level maths qualification with Barnet and Southgate College last year and it’s very daunting to be in a class with other people but learning is much easier with your colleagues. When I heard LAS UNISON Branch was organising this Level 2 course, I thought, ‘Brilliant – I don’t have to go to college!’ The course is a massive help – without it, I wouldn’t be able to join the paramedic programme; without it, there would be no career progression.
“I hope the government keeps funding the ULF. It helps people with career progression, and better jobs mean higher wages which means we’ll be helping out in terms of taxation as well. I hope the government don’t scrub it completely. It’s a battle everyone has to fight together.”
“It helps people with career progression, and better jobs mean higher wages which means we’ll be helping out in terms of taxation as well.”