A packed Supporting Learners event in Liverpool's Liner Hotel was the backdrop to the latest organisation to sign up to the unionlearn Apprenticeship Charter Apprenticeship Charter.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram and Tony Saunders, TUC Education Officer signed the Charter between the Trades Union Congress and the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor and Combined Authority.

The Charter has been drawn up by Unionlearn, the education arm of the TUC and sets out a number of principles which underpin a vision of high-quality apprenticeships as a skills development programme for the current and future workforce.

The charter aims to ensure that:

  • Apprentices are in a job with a productive purpose and are paid a fair rate
  • Apprentices receive quality training and clear individual development
  • The trade union are involved at every level of the apprenticeship programme
  • Ensure Apprentices have regular access to, and support from, trade unions
  • Apprenticeships are accessible to, and achievable by all
  • Apprentices are part of, and contribute to, a Healthy and Safe environment
  • Apprentices are a commitment from the employer to complement the workforce, not supplement it.

Addressing the audience Steve said he was pleased to join with brothers and sisters from the trade union movement to talk about the importance of lifelong learning and what is happening to improve skills outcomes here in the Liverpool City Region.

The Metro Mayor said: 

I was delighted to sign the unionlearn apprenticeship charter today at the unionlearn supporting learners event.”

As Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor I am committed - with the TUC and unionlearn - to high quality apprenticeships across the City Region. Signing the charter demonstrates this joint commitment, and builds on the work we are doing on skills in the city region”.

Unionlearn Director Kevin Rowan said:

Apprenticeships are a vital route for people to build their careers and employers and unions can make a real difference by negotiating quality training and good employment standards. We will be calling on all the Combined Authorities to emulate Liverpool City Region by signing up to the principles of our Apprenticeship Charter, especially quality and equality of access.”

Tony Saunders agreed, saying:

It was a great to hear from Steve at today's Unionlearn event in Liverpool. Signing the apprenticeship charter demonstrates the commitment from Liverpool City Region to work with the TUC and Unionlearn to support high quality apprenticeships across the region.”

The devolution of the Adult Skills Budget creates many challenges and opportunities and it was reassuring to hear Steve's full support for union learning and TUC Education.”

Mark Rowe, who is unionlearn Projects Officer covering apprenticeships, added:

Unionlearn has been working hard to support high quality apprenticeships in workplaces up and down the country.”

It is great to have the Liverpool City Region on board and committing to support schemes that support the development and skills that businesses, and workers, are calling out for.”


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