Apprentices need protection

Union Matters

The need for legislation to protect apprentices being given publicly funded in-work training in the event of their employer going under has been demonstrated by the betrayal of an estimated 1,400 apprentices who were left high and dry by the collapse of Carillion.

Delegates at CWU Annual Conference unanimously committed the union to work with other trade unions and the Labour Party for a change in the law to ensure that no future apprentices are abandoned, without pay, work or continued training  – as is still the case for hundreds of those who were being trained under a £6.5 million Government contract with the bankrupt outsourcing firm.

“Apprentices need to be protect from giant companies like Carillion who have taken public money and misused it,” stressed Mark Hugall of Newcastle Amal in proposing the motion.

Seconding the motion, national Women’s Advisory Committee member Kath Kelly continue: “Carillion was handed millions of pounds and allowed to become the country’s biggest provider of construction apprenticeships. This Tory Government has to think twice about entrusting private sector companies with training for the next generation of workers.”

NEC speaker Dave Wilshire agreed, stressing “Carillion and the Government have not covered themselves in glory with regards to the way these apprentices have been treated.

“The disgraceful thing about this is that Carillion were handed contracts despite the fact that Government had early warning the company was getting into financial difficulties and was about to go through the hoop.”