February 1st 2010


February 1st 2010

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Youth Committee has welcomed plans by the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives to carry our research into incidences of verbal and physical abuse against young workers and the effect this has on their health and wellbeing.

Speaking following the launch of the research which has been developed by the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives and Queen Margaret University and supported by the STUC, Ian Tasker, Assistant Secretary said

“Our Youth Committee has been concerned at the amount of abuse that young workers face. Failing to manage and support young workers in the early stages of their working lives can have a detrimental effect on their outlook to the world of work.

“This is the latest initiative involving the Scottish Centre and the STUC on workplace violence and the research team at Queen Margaret University. The web based approach to this research has been designed to be more attractive for young people and encourage participation.

Linda Shanahan, Workplace Violence Prevention Manager for the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, said “Anecdotally we believe that young workers are more vulnerable to being abused by customers or clients due to a number of factors.

Early negative experiences in the workplace can have a huge impact on attitudes to work, mental health and wellbeing and commitment to serving the public.”

We look forward to be able to establish the facts and to be in a position to explore ways we can work with HWL clients and trade unions to raise awareness of this and explore ways in which young workers can be better protected.”

Dr Chris McVittie, leader of the team of researchers at Queen Margaret University, said “Being able to work in a safe environment is highly important for health and well-being in a broad sense, all the more so for young people who might be particularly vulnerable to problems of abuse and violence that are often described. In this project, we want to hear the views of young workers themselves on these issues and have designed the research so as to make it easy for them to be involved and to make their experiences known.”


For further information contact:

Ian Tasker, STUC, 0141 337 8100

Linda Shanahan, Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, 0131 313 7585

Dr Chris McVittie, Queen Margaret University, 0131 474 0000

Notes to Editors

The research is looking at the experiences of young workers 24 years of age or under. Details of the project and how to be involved are available at


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