STUC on National Convention on Youth Employment

March 15th 2012

At the National Convention on Youth Employment being held today in Dundee the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) will be pressing the Scottish and UK Governments for an end to unpaid employment arrangements such as workfare placements or internships and seeking assurances on the welfare and safety of young people currently engaged on such programmes.

Speaking from the Convention STUC Assistant Secretary Ian Tasker said “The STUC disagrees with unpaid employment whether through workfare placements or other arrangements such as internships. The opportunity to gain experience and for the employer to assess ability, attitude to work and future potential already exists through probationary clauses in many employment contracts. ‘Try before you buy’ work placements should, at least, be paid at the appropriate minimum wage rate achieved through existing benefits and an additional employer’s contribution.

“We are also seeking assurances that procedures are in place before Workfare or Work Programme placements take place to ensure that employers have adequate employment policies, including health and safety in place and are monitored on an ongoing basis and clarification of the cover afforded by employer liability insurance to non employed individuals working in the work environment.”

Ian Tasker added “In addition to the poor turnout from employers for the Convention it is very disappointing that only 10 young people are attending the summit today. It would undoubtedly have been of great value to the Convention to hear of the experiences of the young people this event is supposed to be all about.”

ENDS

For further information contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100

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