West Midlands signs up to TUC Apprenticeship Charter

This week the West Midlands Combined Authority became the latest region to sign an Apprenticeship Charter with unionlearn and TUC Midlands.

West Midlands Combined Authority and TUC Midlands sign Charter
Deborah Cadman OBE, WMCA Chief Executive and Lee Barron, TUC Midlands Regional Secretary, sign the TUC’s Apprenticeship Charter

On the 22nd July 2019 Deborah Cadman OBE, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Lee Barron, Regional Secretary of the TUC, signed the TUC’s Apprenticeship Charter at the WMCA’s head office in Birmingham ensuring that apprentices in the region get a good deal.

Deborah said:

I’m delighted to sign the Apprenticeships Charter, on behalf of the WMCA, which underlines our commitment to provide high-quality, meaningful apprenticeships.”

We have committed to pay our apprentices above the minimum apprenticeship wage, to use apprenticeships wherever possible to upskill our staff, and to hire apprentices to complement our workforce, rather than supplement it. Signing the Apprenticeships Charter furthers that commitment.

This is one of a number of TUC charters that we have signed up to – and we will continue to work closely with the TUC to ensure we are offering the best possible opportunities and experiences for our staff.”

The TUC’s/unionlearn’s partnership with the WMCA indicates their desire to promote high-quality apprenticeship programmes. The charter covers pay, job role, health and safety, terms and conditions, training and skills, as well as access to trade union support.

Lee said:

Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity to ensure high skill standards.”

The Charter builds on the WMCA’s high-quality commitment to providing decent rights and access to training throughout workers’ careers.”

Mark Rowe, unionlearn’s apprenticeships officer said:

Trade unions have always supported apprenticeships. We see this Charter as a key component of our strategy in upskilling and reskilling the workforce and strengthens the, already-excellent, partnership we have with the WMCA - which was established when working together on the National Retraining Scheme Career Learning Pilot.”

The Charter serves a dual purpose for the union movement. Firstly, it provides assurances to both young workers entering the world of work for the first time, as well as older existing workers that they will receive a quality job and the skills to aid a long career. Secondly, it also provides a model for individual unions to take to employers to help secure better rights and training for their members.

The WMCA covers twelve local authorities across the entire conurbation of Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country as well as encompassing three Local Enterprise Partnerships.