THE University and College Union’s Vicky Knight warned the TUC yesterday that trade union education was at a “dangerous” crossroads after the government cut its funding.
Public funding for union learning ceased last month and the number of college trade union studies departments has dropped from more than 50 to less than 20 in the last year.
“Colleges are closing our provision and once it’s gone it’s gone,” the UCU vice-president told Congress.
Ms Knight asked the TUC to clarify its strategy for regaining the confidence of colleges and affiliates to keep TUC learning provision alive because of the hundreds of thousands of activists successfully trained on such courses.
“Only yesterday [shadow education secretary] Angela Rayner, who left school at 16, said she’d been given a second and a third chance by trade union education,” she said.
“That she was a product of the opportunities this movement gave her. Let’s make sure we can give that same opportunity to all.”