Working together for better apprenticeships

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27 Jul 2018
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Press Office

Working in collaboration with the GMB Young Members Network and the National Society of Apprentices has given me a platform to investigate apprenticeships with people from all over the UK and Europe. I have been involved in the collaborative work for over a year and it has given me a greater idea of the goals I want to achieve for apprentices and who I need to communicate with to achieve them.

I feel the NSOA have shown me the conditions I was accepting in my apprenticeship and the GMB encouraged me to want more from those conditions. Together they introduced me to new ideas of what an apprenticeship should be like, but more importantly what it could be like with my influence.

The GMB and NSOA's policies to increase wages for apprentices encourage me on a personal level. I see so many people in apprenticeships being exploited by both big and small businesses and I know increasing the apprentice minimum wage would put an end to this. I feel that people wanting to better themselves deserve further encouragement in the form of good pay, stability, respect and quality education - regardless of their age and social backgrounds.

I hear people tell me that apprenticeships are about "showing willing" and "a sacrifice that will all be worth it in the end" but to see people in the UK, some as young as 16 years of age enduring 2 - 3 years of their lives in poverty, skipping meals in order to fund their transport to work, living in overpriced, unacceptable accommodation, all to have their mental health battered in the form of bad management and underfunded education - isn't what I'd class as 'a worthy sacrifice' it's a downright disgrace.

Comparably I was lucky enough to have a secure family environment that supported me from the age of 18 to 21 while I achieved my qualifications and went into permanent employment. My family environment was the GMB Young Members. Anything I needed, be it advice, representation, time - I wouldn't have had any of it without the GMB.

For those who aren't as lucky, we are fighting for you because you deserve more. And I know that I am only able to fight for you because the GMB fought for me. You can be encouraged by like-minded people just like I was, and gain power, courage and influence to want more for yourself just as we want for you. All you have to do is join to find your power in a Union ❤

Join today at https://www.gmb.org.uk/apprentice-join


Gemma Dinsdale, GMB Union Representative

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