I feel it is important to talk about what’s happening in the workplace in the 21st century.
And I believe it is essential to have an honest and frank conversation about the realities of what is happening in our workplaces today.
That is why I will be launching a trade union education initiative in September, called Trade Union Education: a partnership between the Trade Union Institute and the National Union of Teachers.
This will be a new project to build on the work already done at the TUI and deliver the first comprehensive look at how we are going to help young people develop a strong sense of their rights and responsibilities in a workplace, in the context of a modern union, through an intensive six-week course.
The first edition of Trade Union Educators will focus on how we can provide the support and training needed for young people in their trade union journey.
The initiative will be designed for both existing and new trade unionists, providing a comprehensive introduction to the complexities and challenges of a career in the trade union movement.
The idea is to build a solid foundation for young trade union activists who are looking to learn the skills that will allow them to navigate a workplace with an understanding of rights, responsibilities and the needs of their workplace.
This is not a programme that is going to be available to everyone, so there will be some gaps in the course.
However, there will also be opportunities to provide support to those who need it.
I know there are people in my organisation who are going through a difficult time.
They have had to move, to change jobs, to work from home, to go to school, to find themselves on the dole, or simply want to start a family, to have a child and want to support their family in a new way.
I know they are frustrated, and I know there is anger, but there is also a belief in this country that if you want to get on in life you need to work harder and have more.
That belief has to be challenged.
Trade unionists must not feel that their rights are being ignored and that their voices are not being heard.
I believe that we need to change the way we understand trade unionism and our understanding of the work that we do in it.
This can be done with the support of trade union organisations and organisations that work in the public sector, and the trade unions themselves.
Trade unions must not only challenge the attitudes of the political elite in the Labour Party, but we need the support from people at all levels of society to build that change.
This programme will focus not just on what is needed to support young people entering the trade in the future, but also on the skills needed for trade union workers in their career, and on the opportunities for them in the community.
These new Trade Union Educational programmes will be run by the Trade Unions Educational Partnership, the TradeUnions Centre, and a range of other organisations and individuals who will be supporting them through the year.
They will also form a part of the TradeUnion Institute’s work to build support for young workers, by providing resources and training to help them develop the skills they need in a way that is in line with the values and ideals of the trade Union movement.
I would like to say a special thank you to the TUI for its support.
This initiative will help ensure that trade union leaders and members in the wider community have the resources to make sure their trade unions provide the opportunities they need to be part of a thriving and vibrant trade union.
Sign the petition to support the Trade unions initiative