They welcomed an agreement between the National Trade Union Committee, of which Prospect is a member, and the Cabinet Office in 2017 which offers commitments on consultation rights, terms, conditions and training provision.
Dave Allen, Prospect negotiator, moved the motion on behalf of the executive. He noted the government’s policy that all large employers in the public sector will be encouraged to enrol 2.3% of their workforce as designated apprentices every year.
As part of this initiative, the civil service has pledged to deliver 30,000 apprenticeships starts by 2020.
“The NTUC delivered an agreement which obliges employers to consult the unions and offers protections for apprentices. That deal is yours to take back to your employers,” said Allen.
“We are keen to see existing civil servants move into apprenticeships without losing any of their pay, terms and conditions,” he added.
He urged reps to feed back any information or problems to Prospect HQ.
Given that apprenticeships will become a large part of recruitment into the civil service and wider public sector, the motion instructed the executive to work with branches to:
- ensure that employers maximise the use of apprenticeships in high quality, skilled training roles leading to full-time positions
- maximise the opportunities for existing civil servants and other public servants to access apprenticeship schemes where they wish to do so
- defend the pay and conditions for apprentices (including union membership) in line with the Cabinet Office agreement
- play an active part in the national executive committee’s campaign to recruit apprentices into Prospect membership and
- develop a strategy to ensure a pan-public sector approach.