Join PCS - the union for civil service apprentices

Are you a civil service apprentice?

PCS membership can provide security, strength and support.

The government has committed to increasing the number of apprentices within the civil service by 2020. 

Many apprentices are young workers, hoping that the apprenticeship will lead to a valuable and successful career within the civil service.

But this also means that apprentices can be vulnerable because of the nature of the work and the type of contract that they may be employed on.

Benefits of joining PCS

  • PCS has negotiated agreements that give all apprentices assurances on job security and fair treatment.
  • PCS learning reps help you get off-the-job and other training, helping your career development and progression (see below).
  • Your workplace rep will be there to support you with any problems at work and we can also help with health and safety, welfare and worklife balance issues.
  • Stronger unions can secure better pay, hours, work benefits and holidays for members.
  • There is strength in numbers, more apprentices in PCS means more power to negotiate.

You can read more about the benefits of joining PCS for apprentices on our blogs.

Joining the union

You are entitled to 6 months free PCS membership as a new member on an apprenticeship if you are on a fixed-term or temporary contract. 

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

National agreement

In 2017, PCS signed an agreement with the Cabinet Office which governs how civil service apprentices are treated during their apprenticeship. Find out what you're entitled to. 

The principles agreed between the Cabinet Office and trade unions mean that trade unions are allowed to talk to new apprentices about your rights to join a trade union and are allowed to attend apprentice inductions. If this doesn’t happen in your workplace, please contact PCS through your group office and we will arrange for a local rep to get in touch with you.

Your workplace union learning rep (ULR)

PCS union learning representatives (ULRs) are the best people to support you with your apprenticeship and to signpost you to further learning opportunities that may be of interest to you. 

Contact us to find your local ULR.

Help with learning and qualifications

The employer should make sure that apprentices get the training needed to pass their apprenticeship, which should equate to 20% ‘off-the-job’ learning, and should include help to achieve any required English and/or maths qualification.

You can use the online tool Skillcheck to check what level your English and maths is currently.  If you need any help accessing training at work, contact your branch union learning rep. They will help to negotiate access to training and time off.

Further advice 

General guidance can be found on the TUC unionlearn webpages in its eNotes section.

You need to register, and will then be able to look at the Apprentices – Know Your Rights eNote (under the Employment law and rights at work section) which contains lots of very useful information.

Ask other apprentices to join PCS

Please encourage other apprentices to join PCS if they are not already members.

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