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Launch for new workplace learning fund

The concept of Collective Learning Funds for the North East was launched this week during an event hosted by City of Sunderland College at the Stadium of Light.

Collective Learning Funds (CLFs) are union-led initiatives which work to create co-investment in the training development of the workforce.

In the North East, the new fund will run through a tripartite arrangement with City of Sunderland College, the unions and potential employers, all making contributions to the fund from which employees can apply for support.

The College’s head of learning and standards, Jane Thompson, said: “Collective Learning Funds are great news and an excellent opportunity for the College to work alongside the unions to help those who want to continue with their learning in the workplace to do so.

“It is vital for the UK’s economy and future prosperity that we continue to find new ways to support learning and keep investing in people. These funds are designed to enable co-investment to be made to potentially benefit thousands of people here in the region through a partnership approach to learning.”

The North East launch followed the successful completion of a series of pilot programmes in the North West and is in-line with a statement made by the Department for Innovation Business and Skills which stated: “Investment in training gives real returns. The cost of paying for training should ultimately be shared between employers, individuals and the state to reflect the benefit each receives. As well as being a better way of allocating scarce resource, it means that individuals and business are motivated to ensure that what is provided meets their needs…”

The College, which is working alongside unionlearn, showed how the new fund could work to Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) from across the North East.

Through a series of presentations and question sessions, the group of 70 representatives found out how the new fund can pool resources and increase opportunities for funding in support of learning in the workplace.

Following the launch, URLs will now review their current learning agenda from within respective organisations to identify what support is needed to improve their learning programmes.

Working alongside the union and the College, the employers can then establish a Collective Learning Fund together with a steering group to undertake its administration to deliver training objectives.

For more information on the new fund, please contact Jane Thompson on 0191 511 6799 or email jane.thompson@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk

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