Unite general secretary Len McCluskey presented an award to Dave Ross from Southampton City Council for becoming Unite union's learning representative of the year 2013.
The award ceremony held at the TUC recognised the role trade unionists have played in supporting their work colleagues' education.
About 400 delegates attended and ten union learning representatives from all over the UK were given regional awards recognising their achievements in helping workers to access flexible learning opportunities.
Union learning rep David Ross won the award for opening a new learning centre for the local community in conjunction with Southampton city council. David also set up courses in conjunction with City and Totton Colleges in Southampton where trade union members can access skills for life training and functional skills training. The learning centre was opened after a long and bitter dispute between the Tory led council and council workers. Last May the Tories were beaten by Labour which now runs Southampton city council.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:
“Lifelong learning is a key part of our union’s agenda. It is at the forefront of our ambition for our members. Ensuring that education is not only readily available – but more than that it is promoted in the workplace. That is why it has always been so important to me that we never forget the role education plays in the work we do in the workplace, day-in-day-out.
“Education changes lives; it changes our life chances and the life chances of our children; it gives us a voice; it can give us power, power for good.
"I have been stunned, literally, by the number of ordinary members that have talked to me about their experiences of our education programmes. Members that have told me how Union Learn has changed their lives; spoken about the successes of our lifelong learning in Unite, and how it has fundamentally changed their lives.”
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
For more information about Unite education and life long learning programmes click here
About 400 delegates attended and union learning representatives from all over the UK were given regional and national awards recognising their achievements in helping workers to access flexible learning opportunities. Click here to see a
video of Unite general secretary Len McCluskey presenting awards for best national and regional Union Learning Representative at an award ceremony held at the TUC. He also spoke to delegates on the importance of learning and the role trade unionists have played in supporting their work colleagues' education.
Notes to editors: Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.