Headlines: June 21st, 2017

Apprentices working in the public services are set to get a fairer deal under a charter launched today by UNISON.

Being paid the rate for the job, high quality training and a guaranteed employment contract are among the aims outlined in the document unveiled at the union’s annual national conference in Brighton.

The charter also sets out the responsibilities of employers such as ensuring an apprenticeship leads to a real job and not using them as cheap labour.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Young people have been hit hard by the government’s austerity policies, and youth unemployment is at a critical level.

“Apprenticeships are a way of improving job opportunities for them and for older people. But many employers are under pressure to cut costs and unscrupulous ones may be looking to exploit apprentices.

“This charter is an important step forward in protecting apprentices at work so they’re not just used as cheap labour. And employers will benefit too from a loyal, skilled and dedicated workforce.”