Education at the Centre? Australia's national union education program

Adult Learning Australia Inc
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal Of Adult Learning, 2009, 49 (1), pp. 102 - 125
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Australian trade unions are at a pivotal moment. In 2007-2008, a review of the training and education programs of the Education and Campaign Centre (ECC), the education arm of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), was conducted through a series of interviews with leaders of twenty-five unions. The review found that Australian unions do not generally view education as a core strategic activity, and many see the ECC simply as a training provider that they could access if they did not have their own trainers. We argue that there are greater possibilities for a national education centre than are currently being contemplated by the union leaders. A key to realising these possibilities lies in unions articulating a shared purpose for union education, and its role in supporting leaders, officials, delegates and activists in the continuing challenges they face in their work.
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