Young workers yearning for learning

Conference hears how young workers are often denied training because of austerity, yet this will mean a skills shortage in the future

Meeting during the Year of Young Workers, local government delegates backed a motion today calling for improved access to training for them.

Proposing the motion for the national young members’ forum, Sarah Walsh pointed out that, “year on year, when the national young members’ forum consults, workplace training and development is raised as significantly deficient in our workplaces.

“Austerity has hit training budgets and there has been a shift to e-learning.

“How do young workers progress if they’re in a situation where training is regarded as an expensive luxury?” she asked, adding that the situation was even worse if you were on a zero-hours contract.

There will be a skills gap in the future if training is not available now, she concluded.

Jess Maguire from Lincolnshire County branch noted: “When I’ve replied for higher-paid jobs, I’ve been told that I’m not experienced enough.” Denied training until she reached a higher grade, she eventually accessed training through UNISON.

Lorraine Thompson from the service group executive noted: “You’d think younger workers would get more training than older workers, but it’s rarely the case.”

Yet training is cheaper than re-hiring. Young workers are also “often trapped in low-income work”. Training is needed for “accessible and meaningful work” and it’s “essential that we support them”.