Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion


The European Alliance for Apprenticeships is a multi-stakeholder initiative steered by the European Commission. The originator of the pledge is solely responsible for implementing the actions outlined in the pledge.

Author:Trades Union Congress - TUC
Country:United Kingdom
Start Year:2015

Matthew Creagh, Policy Officer



Types of organisation:Social partners

TUC recognises that more employers need to offer high quality apprenticeships to young people, as currently demand for apprenticeships outstrips supply.  As part of our youth employment strategy we pledge to promote high quality apprenticeships and encourage our affiliates to negotiate good quality opportunities for young people.

Whilst the quality of Apprenticeships has improved over the years, there is still a great deal of scope for improvements.  For example, 1 in 7 apprentices are paid below the legal minimum wage.  TUC will continue to campaign for improvements to the Apprenticeship programme and ensure that there are mechanisms to enforce the quality of Apprenticeships.  The TUC has developed an Apprenticeship Charter which sets out the key principles of a high quality Apprenticeship.

Short company / organisation description:

TUC is the voice of Britain at work. With 51 affiliated unions representing nearly 6 million working people from all walks of life, we campaign for a fair deal at work and for social justice at home and abroad.

The TUC actively promotes high quality Apprenticeships, recognising that they can provide young people with a good job, whilst helping them to develop the skills they need to secure decent, sustainable employment.

The TUC has an Apprenticeships project, entitled “Apprenticeships are union business”.  Our affiliated unions negotiate new Apprenticeship programmes with employers, secure improvements for existing schemes and support Apprentices in the workplace.

The TUC has developed an Apprenticeship Charter which sets out the key principles of a high quality Apprenticeship.

Unionlearn, the learning and services arm of the TUC, manages the Union Learning Fund, which administers funds to union projects to promote workplace learning, including Apprenticeship programmes.  The ULF was introduced in 1998 and unions have been invited to apply for funding to support learning projects on an annual basis since then. The primary objective of the ULF is to develop the capacity of trade unions and Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) to work with employers, the workforce and learning providers to encourage greater take-up of learning in the workplace and better utilisation of new skills in order to enhance individual progression and organisational performance.

Area of action: Supply
Area of action: Quality
Area of action: Image
Partners:The TUC Affiliated unions and ULF projects within unions Employers and providers that work with unions to set up apprenticeship programmes.
BIS – the government department responsible for Apprenticeship policy.
Sector Skills Councils.
The Skills Show.
Engineering UK.

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