It seems to be a truth universally acknowledged, that equality, inclusiveness and diversity make better workplaces.
Union reps work hard to make workplaces better for all. As trade unionists we need to challenge discrimination and support diversity at all levels. Especially young people at their first job need support and many of these new entrants are apprentices. Unionlearn has taken a task of helping reps by developing guidance on supporting apprentices whether they are new to the world of work or existing staff.
To celebrate apprenticeships and diversity we’re launching this week a new guide which is unique in that there is no other guidance around to address supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) apprentices.
The guide, LGBT+ Inclusive apprenticeships, looks into barriers LGBT+ people may face and encourages reps to take focused steps into ensuring employers have relevant policies in place. We cannot stress enough the need for reps and employers to also closely monitor the impact policies have in everyday working life. The new guide highlights the value of collecting accurate data to find out whether employer’s policies have actually made a difference.
And when LGBT+ workers feel safe and able to be out at work, they are more likely to declare their sexual orientation or gender identity and contribute towards building a picture of diversity in the workplace.
It is important for everyone to be able to choose the right job and workplace. It is also a big step for LGBT+ people choosing an employer and apprenticeship where they can feel supported. Apprenticeships are after all about building skills, careers and progression.
The National Apprenticeship Week runs this year from 3th to 7th February with a tagline ‘Look Beyond’. This is definitely the time to celebrate and applaud apprenticeship diversity.
If you as a union rep, or an employer for that matter, are wondering how to take your first steps in embracing diversity and supporting apprentices then take a look at all our guides online. Or ask for a printed copy and help make apprenticeships diverse and inclusive in your workplace: