Useful outcomes for workers in trade union learning initiatives : The significance of attitude and ownership
The paper draws upon evidence from trade union learning initiatives that are funded by the Union Learning Fund or involve Union Learning Representatives in the UK. With reference to Chartist, radical and more broadly societal views of learning, analysis of learning topics, contexts and uses provides the basis for an understanding of useful learning, around the themes of attitude and ownership. Whilst recognising limitations of trade union learning, it is suggested that these initiatives contribute to radical outcomes individually and collectively, arising directly and indirectly from the learning activities. This suggests the potential for outcomes which hark back to earlier understandings of the purpose of trade union education and worker emancipation. The part this may play in the readjustment of the balance of power between labour and capital and in enabling the development of a more inclusive and high skill society, is considered. The paper also recognises the methodological challenge facing those researching in the field.