Labour’s Finance & Economy spokesperson, Cllr Margaret Brisley has voted to introduce Unison’s “Apprenticeship Charter” at Stirling Council. At a recent meeting of the Finance & Economy Committee, which Margaret chairs, the charter was proposed and adopted as council policy immediately.
The Charter details the rights of apprentices and the responsibilities of their managers and the council.
Among the rights afforded to Apprentices are the right to a contract, the right to an interview for a vacant post when their apprenticeship finishes and the right to join and participate in the Trade Union of their choice.
Among the responsibilities placed on their managers are to ensure the quality of the training builds the skills to lead to a real job, to recognise that apprenticeships are investing in “future labour” not “cheap labour”, and to encourage and celebrate apprentices.
Stirling Council currently employs 91 apprentices, with a further 115 employees undertaking professional learning towards the next stage in their careers (such as probationer teachers). Training is provided by local accredited providers such as Forth Valley College.
Already Stirling Council engages apprentices under a contract of employment and pays a higher rate compared to the national minimum wage. Modern Apprentices start on an hourly rate of £7.14 compared to the national minimum wage of £5.90. Age 16 Craft Apprentices start on £5.86, compared to the national minimum wage of £3.70 and once they have passed the trade test, their hourly rate increases to £11.13 per hour.
Cllr Brisley says,
“In 2012, Labour ensured that Stirling Council was one of the first in Scotland to pay staff the living wage. This week we’ve already delivered on a Labour commitment to double paternity leave from two to four weeks on full pay. Now I’m proud that, working with our Trade Union colleagues, we’ve adopted the Apprenticeship Charter to ensure our young people have key rights and their managers key responsibilities in ensuring we are developing a workforce with the skills we need now and in the future. Labour is the party of and for workers and I will work tirelessly with Trades Union colleagues to promote, protect and enhance rights while Labour are in Administration on Stirling Council.”
This story relates to our 2017 Stirling Council Manifesto Commitments:
- “we will lead the way by ensuring that Stirling Council sets the standard we want all organisations to aspire to”