The involvement of unions in supporting learning opportunities helps their members to become less career-dependent on their employers, a new study says.
Workers with access to education and training become more "career-resilient" as their skills, knowledge and confidence is increased.
The report, Partnerships for Learning, which examines opportunities for trade unions and the University for Industry, says business security and prosperity depend on the skills of the whole workplace, not just an elite.
Unions had a crucial role as ambassadors for adult learning which the UFI should not ignore, says the report.
"The union is perceived as having their interests at heart. Because of this, the local endorsement of the UFI by stewards or convenors in the workplace will be significant in allaying any suspicions that its prime purpose is to promote the employers' skills agenda more than help employees, both individually and collectively, to find greater security and opportunity for personal development through learning. Unions can show that the UFI is a "win win" game."
Trade unionists insisted that the UFI should have an inclusive vision, offering something of value to part-time workers, shift workers and those generally excluded from learning organised by companies.