#NAW2018 Spotlight on … Working with UNISON to support Apprentices

7th March 2018

National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2018 runs from 5 – 9 March 2018 and is an opportunity not only to celebrate the success of established apprenticeships already underway, but also a chance to share some of the support options available to Councils across the East of England.

UNISON can support employers and apprentices around the apprenticeship agenda, with a wide range of free support options available. 

Emily Sole, Unison Regional Learning and Development Organiser, explains “working in partnership with Councils we can support employers and apprentices around learning and development, quality assurance and networking.  We can also help to publicise good practice, locally, regionally and nationally. We have a number of free workshops we are able to offer which includes Social Media, Employee Rights and Responsibilities, Sickness Absence, Job Application and Interview Skills, Staying Strong (stress management) and Your Skills, Your Future. The Apprentices do not need to be Unison members to engage in the workshops, and this offer is extended to schools environments as well as Council based apprentices.”

This relationship is already well-established within some Councils across the region. Barbie Calvert, Corporate Apprenticeship Manager, at Central Bedfordshire Council, explained how the HR policy team there work very closely with Unison and GMB Trade Union Reps. She described it as “making perfect sense” to extend this way of working to apprenticeships too.

“When we decided to deliver a personal development programme for all our new apprentices we looked at how we could broaden their knowledge and really prepare them for the world of work. Inviting the Trade Union Reps along to one of the sessions made perfect sense as it allows the apprentices to understand the pros and cons of Trade Union membership. It helps them to make an informed decision about joining or not – the unions both offer favourable or free membership for apprentices too and welcomed the opportunity to promote their service! From a business perspective it strengthens our relationship with the reps and if apprentices do choose to join, it could enable the reps to advise apprentices on any tricky work related issues before HR get involved.”

Speaking about support for apprentices Emily Sole added “UNISON can provide a safe and supportive environment for apprentices to share their challenges and successes, meet other apprentices, and develop their skills through a range of workshops.  They will also get the opportunity to become more active within UNISON and support future apprentices.  We want to make sure that apprentices voices are heard, and that any concerns they may have are resolved.” 

UNISON membership for apprentices costs £10.00 per year*, which will entitle you to full membership benefits.  (*This applies if you are on an apprentice contract.  If you are an existing member of staff undertaking an apprenticeship qualification regular membership fees will apply).

To discuss working in partnership with UNISON around the apprenticeship agenda please contact Emily Sole – UNISON Regional Learning and Development Organiser (e.sole@unison.co.uk).

For further information on all UNISON has to offer please visit the following:
UNISON National Website – www.unison.org.uk  
UNISON Eastern Region – www.unisoneastern.org.uk
Twitter: @unisoneastern     
Facebook: UNISON: Supporting Apprentices in the Eastern Region


Join the East of England LGA’s Get up and Grow campaign to raise awareness of the importance of apprenticeships to our organisations and economies and to help increase the number and uptake of apprenticeships across the region!

We are committed to helping to support the delivery of apprenticeship training; making sure that the apprenticeship levy money is spent in the most effective way. Working together is the best way to achieve this!

To share your apprenticeship stories get in touch with Emma Moore, Senior HR Advisor at the East of England LGA on emma.moore@eelga.gov.uk / 01284 758326

Find out more about the Get up and Grow campaign at http://www.eelga.gov.uk/employers-services/apprenticeships.aspx


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