I will make skills, training and apprenticeships a top priority for Unite
Over the last 40 years we have seen our national skills base eroded. In some industries we are relying on people who were trained in the 1970s, are now in their 60s and will soon be retiring. Meanwhile the technological revolution is creating massive new skill needs in our economy. Yet under its current leadership Unite has not focused on skills and training. I will change this and make skills, training and apprenticeships a top priority for Unite the Union.
Today’s young people are not coming through with the right skills to get good, secure, well-paid jobs. Instead of investing in training, many employers have cut back on wages and relied on workers from other countries. Now in the UK we face a new challenge – leaving the European Union. Taking back control of borders will very likely mean leaving the Single European Market. That means we will have to improve skills and training throughout the UK economy in order to remain competitive.
If I am elected as your General Secretary, I will call together all the companies we work with in the UK to a Backing Britain Skills & Investment Summit. They need to support and train the long-term unemployed and also re-equip and re- skill our existing workforce. Where they do the right thing we should encourage and support them, but if they refuse we must make them invest in high skill, high wage jobs. Skills should sit alongside terms and conditions in our negotiations with employers.
Young people used to be able to gain skills and qualify on the job through a workplace apprenticeship. We need many more apprenticeship places, and we also need to ensure they are of really good quality. So I will introduce Unite Endorsed Apprenticeships to help more people access good quality training that leads to a secure job.
I will make skills a top priority so we can secure more good, high-wage jobs for our members.
What will I do?
- Call together all the companies we work with to a Backing Britain Skills & Investment Summit
- Introduce Unite Endorsed Apprenticeships to help more young people get good training and jobs