PCS forum for apprentices – and next steps
PCS held a national forum for apprentices on 10 February, during National Apprenticeship Week 2022. The forum was chaired by Josh Chown, a civil service apprentice and vice chair of PCS’s national young members committee.
The focus of the forum was a “know your rights” session, with a Q&A which generated several important questions on key issues. Apprentices are facing problems with training providers, their apprenticeships being paused, no guarantee of a job when their apprenticeship is completed, and not benefiting from the same terms and conditions as colleagues doing the same role. A lot of these problems result in apprentices leaving the apprenticeship.
We also heard from Abe Allen, PCS young members London and south east region convenor, who encouraged attendees to get active in the young members’ network, become a union learning rep (ULR) or a PCS advocate.
The forum ended with a short discussion on where next for PCS apprentices. Ideas included a national survey (just under 800 apprentices completed our previous PCS survey in 2020) and using this to identify issues to bargain and campaign around. We also discussed setting up a PCS network or forum so that apprentices can organise themselves as apprentices.
There are over 10,000 apprentices across the civil service and PCS will continue to recruit, organise and campaign for high quality apprenticeships.