Joining a trade union as an apprentice

This information is designed for use by apprentices. If you are a union rep, see our Next steps: Recruiting information and resources for union reps.

Unions negotiate fair pay and equal treatment in the workplace. Unions also tackle discrimination based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

How can unions help me?

Unions will help ensure your Apprenticeship is high quality and that you are properly supported while you are doing it. Unions will negotiate with employers, making sure you get time off to study or train, and ensuring that you receive impartial information, advice and guidance, and are supported by a mentor. Your employer must give you the chance to join an appropriate union.

Will I have to pay to join a union?

Some unions now have rates specifically for apprentice members. Many also have structures within the union to support apprentices in their workplace.

How do I find the right union?

The TUC's workSMART website provides information about rights at work, and about joining a union. The workSMART Union Finder tool can help you find the right union for you.