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Learning representatives in UK organizations: A review of current developments

Bill Lee (Bill Lee, Lecturer in Accounting and Financial Management)
Catherine Cassell (Catherine Cassell, Professor of Organizational Psychology, Management School, University of Sheffield. Email:

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



Lifelong learning links vocational education to learning for both career and personal development. Such learning clearly has benefits for the employer, the employee and society as a whole. Recently in the UK, trade union learning representatives (ULRs) have become an important tool in the pursuit of lifelong learning and a learning society. The 2002 Employment Act gave legal recognition to ULRs and allowed them paid time off to organize learning for other employees. In this regard, ULRs now enjoy the same legal status as other trade union lay officials. The purpose of this short article is to provide an outline of those rights and to discuss some of the interesting initiatives that have taken place regarding ULRs, to help highlight best practice to date. The article will discuss in turn, learning representatives and the provisions of the 2002 Employment Act, learning agreements, learning committees and learning centers, and draws on the research we are conducting here at the University of Sheffield.



Lee, B. and Cassell, C. (2004), "Learning representatives in UK organizations: A review of current developments", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 7-9.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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