Union Learning Representatives - A Force for Renewal or Partnership
Whilst trade unions have a longstanding interest in the education and training of their members, this has received a major boost through the formalisation of Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) in the Employment Relations Act 2002. This paper provides a critical appraisal of the impact of ULRs on learning, skill and control, and on trade union activities in two English regions. The paper reports the initial findings of an ongoing research project to explore the role of ULRs in the controlling or emancipatory nature of learning, in interpreting the meaning of trade union stances towards partnership, and in trade union renewal agendas, in the South East and the North East of England. The paper draws upon accounts of exploratory qualitative research and case studies as it assesses the situation to date.