Unionlearn and unions talk "Apprenticeships" at WorldSkills UK

Unionlearn staff joined colleagues from Unite the Union to spread the word about the benefits of union learning and how unions can support apprentices at this year’s WorldSkills UK LIVE event.

Unionlearn at WorldSkills LIVE

WorldSkills UK Live is the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event, and this year took place on 21st -23rd November at the NEC Birmingham.

WorldSkills UK aims to improve the prestige of apprenticeships and technical education and to inspire more young people to consider these as career routes and get off to a better start in work and life. Something that ties in with the trade union approach to supporting high quality apprenticeships.  

Unionlearn and Unite in Schools have been working together for a number of years promoting resources that highlight the ways that unions support apprentices in workplaces and highlighting resources such as unionlearn’s Apprenticeships Essentials app.

This year they also had support from the Community union and the Workers Education Association.

With more than 80,000 young people registered in advance for the event the team were kept busy as the stand was yet again inundated with young visitors, teachers and parents. This ensured project officers were able to have discussions on skills and apprenticeships. 

Mark Rowe, unionlearn’s National Apprenticeship Project Officer, said:

Most of the young people we spoke to wanted to do apprenticeships and they appreciated and understood the value of our “Your rights and responsibilities” leaflet.”

A number of apprentices also visited the stall including a contingent from the BEA systems Samlesbury site, which Mark had visited earlier that week. They wanted to come over say hello and commented how much they appreciated the support unionlearn and Unite had given them in their apprenticeship.

Mark added:

As always the event was crowded, and the young people kept us busy throughout the show. It’s surprising how little the children know about the world of work. But it’s exciting to know we are making a difference.”

Mary Sayer from Unite the union said:

Again this was an excellent opportunity to engage with literally hundreds of students and teachers. Demystifying explaining and discussing the importance of trade unions for this next generation entering the world of work”.

Richard Clarke from Unite Construction added:

Unite support quality apprenticeships across the construction industry. That’s why I am a trustee for the electrical installation apprenticeship group. Unite are also proud to work with Unionlearn to support the Apprenticeship Essentials App.”  

One young person who dropped by the stall and spoke to the team was 11-year-old Thomas who was inspired by the event – and was really keen to know how trade unions could help him with lifelong learning when he enters the world of work. Thomas said:

I think World Skills is really cool. It makes me realise there are loads of different jobs you can do when you leave school. I want to work for the TUC when I grow up because I want to help working people.”

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