Insurer Axa has become the first financial services company to win Government money to bridge the gaps between bosses and trade unions.

Axa has won up to £50,000 for its project, designed to promote a partnership approach with financial trade unions MSF and UNIFI and improve business performance within Axa Insurance.

At the core of the project is a training programme for managers and union representatives to help them deal with human resources issues. Nigel Brown, employee relations manager, said: “We are going to put 75 to 100 people through the course. Then we'll take stock and probably run it again next year.”