£24 Million For Lifelong Learning


Angela Rayner unveils Labour pledge to replenish education budget slashed by Conservatives.  Shadow Education secretary Angela Rayner unveiled a £24 million promise for a lifelong learning fund which has been slashed by the Government.

The MP for Ashton-Under-Lyne made the announcement at GMB’s 101st Annual Congress in Brighton this week.  The money will go to replenish the the Union Learning Fund - designed to help people learn in-work skills throughout their careers.  Thanks to Conservative cuts, the fund is currently down to £12million.

Had it been maintained at 2010 levels in real terms it would be £24m in the next financial year.  Labour has committed an additional £2.5bn a year for further education and lifelong learning, and Angela Rayner committed today to allocate an additional £12m from that to reverse the cuts to the Union Learning Fund in full. Angela Rayner told GMB congress:

“The Union Learning Fund is now half of what it would have been had it been maintained in real terms from the level the last Labour government.

“That is despite the fact that even this Government accepts that it is a highly successful scheme, supporting hundreds of thousands of people and ploughing hundreds of millions back into the economy.

“So I can promise today that as your Education Secretary, I would restore that funding in full, doubling funding for Unionlearn to £24 million pounds and reversing the cuts in full and in real terms.”

Colin Kirkham, GMB National Project Director, said:

“GMB welcomes Angela Rayner's comments as it was the Labour party that actually created the union learning fund. “This will enable GMB to continue to deliver learning to its members at source well into the future and potentially for a longer period of time if the fund is extended over a three year period.”


Contact: GMB Press office 07958 156846 [email protected]



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