New learning and employment hub opened

Community Union and Preston’s College have signed a new partnership to establish our new Preston’s Community Learning and Employment Hub. Both partners will work together to establish a framework for improving the knowledge and skills of individuals and to promote, and support learning opportunities for Community members and students. Community supported set-up of the digitally equipped learning centre with support from the Union Learn Fund.

The hub will be a place where young workers can come and learn about the importance of trade unions, understand their role in the workplace and accept responsibility for what an employer can reasonably expect of them during time at work, think about the power of working together, consider how changes in economy will affect demand for jobs and skills in the next few years and what skills they will need for the future.

Community Union Trustee Dougie Fairbairn who signed the agreement said, ‘the signing of this agreement will ensure young workers make the most of their apprenticeship experience and most importantly their experience of the world of work is both enjoyable and positive. Young workers need to be aware of the many important issues within the workplace, and we are optimistic that our apprentices support sessions will enable them to develop the self-confidence to ask questions, and gain knowledge to understand the importance of equal rights and health and safety.’ He further adds ‘we know 14% of the UK’s workforce is aged below 24 but they only make up 4.4% of union members– this means we need to listen to their ideas. Further a record low of 757,000 young people in the UK are not in education, employment or training. The learning and employment hub will be a place where we will meet them where they click, to help them not only get into employment but get the better deal at work. In turn, through providing an enhanced understanding of the workplace we can play a part in equipping young people to be successful, not just in their working lives, but in wider society as citizens.

Linzi Monks, Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at Preston’s College says: “We are delighted to be working with Community Union in this brand new partnership. To be able to offer our apprentices and adult learners who are in work an extension to their knowledge and informing them of important issues within the workplace, is a fantastic opportunity.”

Claire Woods, Adult Recruitment Manager at Preston’s College adds: “Our partnership with Community Union and what we can now collectively offer to our learners will be truly valuable. Many of our learners, as employees, don’t always know what they’re entitled to as a staff member and often miss out on important employee benefits. This programme will give them the relevant information and the confidence to ask to ensure they utilise the benefits they are eligible for.”

Community union and Prestons’ College are grateful to Unionlearn for the financial support through the Union Learn Fund to help establish the centre. To learn more about how the union can help young workers, click here.

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