More than 15 per cent of adults in Scotland could benefit from a landmark partnership agreement to be signed by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and The Open University in Scotland (OU) this week (Friday, 8 June).
The partnership is set to play an important role in widening access to higher education and developing skills in the workplace by opening up learning opportunities for approximately 630,000 trade unionists in Scotland.
A key element of the agreement will be to offer a 10 per cent discount on a wide range of courses to union members who are new to studying with the OU.
The launch event will take place at Rolls Royce’s Inchinnan plant, Inchinnan Drive, Renfrewshire on 8 June, from 11am to noon. The agreement will be signed by Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the STUC, and Peter Syme, Scottish Director of The Open University, in Rolls Royce, a workplace that has a successful history of trade union and employer partnership in learning opportunities.
Peter Syme said: “The OU has a long and successful history of working with trade unions in Scotland. This new agreement will enable us to take this to a new level by creating a direct route to hundreds of accessible and flexible learning opportunities for thousands of trade union members.”
Grahame Smith said: “The STUC is delighted to work in partnership with the OU to provide discounted, open learning opportunities for trade unionists throughout Scotland. This is a historic link that brings the practical benefits of each organisation together for the betterment of workers’ lives.
“This event is not just about signing the agreement but reflects the greater emphasis on learning that is happening in partnership between unions, employers and providers.”
The Open University is Scotland’s largest provider of part-time higher education with 14,000 students. The OU’s open entry policy (no previous qualifications are needed) and flexible, part-time delivery makes it accessible to people of all ages and from all backgrounds. More than 75 per cent of the people studying with the OU in Scotland work at the same time.