TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber (above) is set to visit Derby College and three of the county’s cutting-edge manufacturers in what may be his last official visit to the East Midlands before he retires at the end of the year.
The visit which takes place tomorrow (Wednesday) begins with a tour of the Roundhouse site at Derby College. Here Brendan Barber and outgoing Principal David Croll will sign a new agreement covering the future of trade union education at the college. Every year it trains around 800 union representatives which helps contribute to more effective industrial relations across the region.
Commenting on the agreement Brendan Barber said: “I am delighted to be able to reaffirm our continuing relationship with Derby College by signing this new protocol. There are clear benefits for both employers and employees of having well-trained union representatives in the workplace so our joint work is very important.”
Following the protocol signing, Brendan Barber will set off on a whistle-stop tour of three key Derbyshire manufacturers – Royal Crown Derby, John Smedley in Lea Bridge, and Courtaulds Textiles in Belper. At each location, Brendan will talk to managers and to reps from the Unity and Community unions about the contribution that learning is making to each company.
At each of the long-established sites, Brendan will also discuss how the firms are weathering the UK’s economic downturn, and will find out more about why staying in the East Midlands is so important to them.
On the trip around these key industrial sites Brendan Barber said: “All three companies have shown faith in their Derbyshire workforce despite the harsh economic climate and this visit acknowledges that. Maintaining and developing the diverse range of skills associated with manufacturing is essential not just to the people and communities the county but also to the success of the wider UK economy.”