Policy into practice: is union learning representative activity meeting the expectations of its principal stakeholders?
The TUC (Trades Union Congress) proposed that union learning representatives could play a role in developing a new culture of lifelong learning at the workplace as the health and safety representative movement has had a major impact on making work environments safer. This is the most extensive piece of research that has been done on union learning representative activity in the North-West region of England. Analysis of data, collected on behalf of unionlearn with the North-West TUC, identified that there were principal stakeholders that had an interest in the success of the union learning representative initiative; the Government and its agencies, TUC/ unionlearn, affiliate unions, employers and, as service users, union members. This thesis investigates to what extent union learning representative activity meets the expectations of those principal stakeholders. The investigation is underpinned by literature that explains the conceptual framework for workplace learning, stakeholder theory and unions and learning. The missing link appears to be the failure of the sponsors of the initiative (Government, TUC and CBI) to acknowledge the possible resistance of some employers to facilitate union learning representative activity in their workplaces.