Politics has been a game for the rich for too long. We need a new generation of working-class people representing us.


The CWU Candidates Programme is designed to enrich our members’ political education, provide opportunities to learn new skills and encourage workers to stand in local and national elections.

This exciting programme will help prepare members from across the union to run for political office as a Labour candidate and help strengthen the interests of working people in the political arena. As part of the CWU’s new political strategy, our programme’s agenda will centre around building collectivism in local communities and preparing candidates to put forward a bold and transformative agenda.

Alongside a small cohort of politically active members from across the country, successful candidates will attend a series of events, designed to solidify their political education, develop their public speaking skills and enable them to connect their communities with trade unions- as well as preparing them to run an election campaign.

If selected, you will access first-class broadcast and social media training, detailed guidance on electoral procedure and hear from experienced speakers across the labour movement. The programme will also run sessions on Community Wealth Building, economic justice and building collectivism in local communities.

Other candidate schemes have prioritised Westminster-focused training and resources for electoral candidates. The CWU will deliver a programme that ensures candidates will be focused on improving the links between trade unions and their local communities, rather than solely on Parliament and the internal workings of the Labour Party.

We know that change is built from the ground up. Now, it is time to shake up the establishment and put working class communities at the forefront of politics. If you are a CWU member and passionate about transforming your community, consider applying for the next iteration of the CWU Candidates Programme. Applications will open in early 2024.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be over 18 years of age, have been a CWU member for at least 12 months and have been a continuous member of the Labour Party for the past 12 months. You will need both your CWU and Labour Party membership numbers to apply.

Applicants must also be able to stand for election under the guidance set out by the Electoral Commission. You can read more about standing for election here.

The CWU is committed to promoting gender equality and as such, the cohort will be gender-balanced on a regional basis, meaning at least one woman will be selected in each region. The CWU will also ensure that at least 4 candidates come from a BAME background. We encourage people from under-represented groups to apply and we particularly welcome applications from women, BAME, people with disabilities, LGBT+, people with caring responsibilities and young candidates.

Programme Information

The programme will hold a series of in-person training and education events. At these events, you will get to meet the rest of the candidates on the programme and have dynamic discussions with CWU members, elected officials and staff about how to improve your community. In addition, you will hear from storied speakers, trade union organisers and community activists about how to build successful campaigns in your area.

The CWU will also run frequent check-in calls with each candidate throughout the duration of the programme, to answer any questions you have.

There is no fee for participating in this programme and your travel and board to in-person events will be covered. If you have any concerns about child care, accessibility or caring responsibilities, please email politics@cwu.org

Upon the conclusion of the programme, candidates will be provided with ongoing support in the run up to future selections and election campaigns.

Application Form and Contact

Application forms will be published here upon the announcement of the next CWU Candidates Programme dates in early 2024.