Unions sign landmark deal on civil service apprenticeships

24 Feb 2017

PCS, along with the other civil service unions, has reached an important agreement with the Cabinet Office for all workers recruited into the civil service under the government’s apprenticeship scheme.

With up to 30,000 apprentices scheduled to be taken on by 2020 across the UK civil service, recruiting apprentices to our union and offering support for these members is a priority issue for our union.

We have secured major improvements for apprentices, including:

  • fair pay
  • job security, and
  • redundancy avoidance.

Key points of the agreement include:

  • Employers should engage with unions at departmental level over workforce planning
  • Unions should access locally to recruit at apprentices’ inductions
  • Employers informing new recruits of their rights to join the relevant trade union
  • Employers engaging with unions on selecting apprenticeship training providers
  • Union learning reps (ULRs) having access to apprentices to provide learning and development support.

New skills

The apprenticeship targets laid down by the administrations in Westminster, Cardiff and Edinburgh are daunting for many employers. All employers must ensure a minimum of 20% of an apprentice's time is spent in off-the-job training. PCS has again successfully bid for Union Learning Fund [ULF] money to support our learning agenda across the 3 separate TUCs of England, Scotland and Wales, such learning projects help employers and workers improve their skills and acquire new ones.

The continued existence of government-supported union learning funds are an acknowledgement that unions are in a unique position, because of our close relationships with our members, to play a huge role in helping workers access high-quality apprenticeship training. Apprenticeships is one of the central priority themes of our 2017-18 PCS learning projects and as part of the newly-signed agreement learning reps are to be trained, where necessary, to identify and support quality vocational training.

PCS rep shows an apprentice member the benefits of membership

PCS - the union for apprentices

If you're taking up an apprenticeship in the civil service join PCS as we are the union representing apprentices in government departments and related services. You can get 6 months' free PCS membership as long as you have not had free membership before.

Membership gives you access to:

  • training and development
  • support at work
  • job security
  • legal advice
  • campaigning
  • negotiating
  • discounts and benefits.

Helping one and other

HMRC member Scott Lamond explained why he joined PCS: "When I joined the Civil Service as an operational delivery professional apprentice I was given a lot of uncertainties, whether I would be treated fairly or not and not knowing whether I would have a job at the end of my apprenticeship. I joined PCS because it’s the biggest union in the civil service and has the force of around 200,000 members who fight to help one and other."

We are helping apprentices in the workplace every day, so join today.

You can join online or call 0800 317 464 (or 020 7801 2670 from a mobile) and talk to our membership team, or email membership@pcs.org.uk with your phone number and we will contact you.

National Apprentices Week

We're asking members and prospective members to take part in and promote National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 6-10 March.

Are you a PCS apprentice member? Help us promote our union by taking a picture with our Unionlearn “speech bubbles” with a message about how the union is helping them as an apprentice. Contact the learning organiser in your PCS regional office to join in this activity.

There will also be co-ordinated Scottish and Welsh NAW’s during that week (6-10 March).

Find out more about how we help apprentices.

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