South west champion backs new TUC project

South west champion backs new TUC project

Jackie Longworth, long-time champion of learning at work and former president of the Engineers’ and Managers’ Association - one of Prospect’s precursor unions - has confirmed her commitment to the learning agenda by signing up as a skills for life advocate with the TUC.

The aim of the advocates project is to bolster the profile of learning at work and provide union learning representatives with extra support. Key players in the trade union movement are being asked to sign up as advocates and pledge their support to learning in the workplace.

Commenting on her role Jackie said: "I am honoured and delighted to sign up as a skills for life advocate. I have always championed the importance of learning as I believe it offers so much to so many people. The TUC’s commitment to improving the lives of people throughout the country with the training they offer is crucial to offering a more level playing field to more people, at work and in their private lives.

"Through the learning agenda a whole generation of workers who may have struggled at school and been put off learning for life now have a chance to gain qualifications that they need to develop both professionally and personally."

There are now 8,000 union learning reps in workplaces across the country finding courses to meet the needs of their colleagues. Over 60,000 union members have already benefited from their help. The government wants to tackle the shortage of key skills in the country and aims to have 1.5 million people newly-qualified by the end of 2007.

As well as being a Prospect trustee, Jackie is on the executive of the south west TUC, chairs both the south west TUC’s women’s committee and south west Assembly and is the trade union director of Gloucestershire Learning and Skills Council. She aims to use her position on these and other networks and forums to ensure the learning at work agenda gains the prominence it deserves.