RMT Apprentice Policy

Circular No. NP/140/17

                13th September 2017

To: All Branches & Regional Councils, Regional Organisers and Head Office Officers.
Dear Colleague

RMT Apprentice Policy.

In 2014 the RMT AGM adopted the following resolution:

“Apprentices are the new blood into our union. They are the Branch Secretaries, Branch officials and union officials of the future and should be treated like so. This union has been lax in the inclusion of apprentices and this needs to change. With the current ConDem government’s attack on workers’ rights and living standards we need to support the apprentices within this union and show them why being part of a union is the best thing to do!
Conference calls on the 2014 Annual General Meeting to:

1.    Create a national union policy regarding the recruitment, retention and support of apprentices.

2.    Create a working group consisting of union officials, members of the Young Members Advisory Committee and previous apprentices.

3.    Focus the union on apprentices during Apprentice Week in March each year.”

The RMT Apprentice Working Group, was established and subsequently submitted a draft proposal for an RMT Policy with regard to Apprentices.

At the NEC meeting held on 5th September 2017 the following was agreed as RMT Policy on Apprentices;

“RMT National Apprentice Policy

That the RMT Should proactively seek to organise and recruit all apprentices in the industries we are active in and those we seek to establish the RMT in.
That the Union provides information to all Regions and Branches on the current membership of apprentices by company and region.
That a full mapping exercise is conducted at a regional/company level to identify organising targets for new Apprentice members. That this mapping exercise also identifies estimates of union resources required to support existing Apprentice members, to include Workplace Reps etc.
That information relevant to Apprentices in workplaces is produced that sets out clearly the benefits of and reasons for joining the RMT. This should not be limited to circulars or leaflets, but include social media, short films, and presentations.
That the current RMT Apprentice Working Group becomes a standing Sub Committee of the Young Members Advisory Committee. The Lead Officer appointed by the GS should attend the Sub Committee twice a year. The Standing Sub Committee is expanded to include the Regional Young Member Officer from each region and Young Member Advisory Committee member from each region, alongside nominated/co-opted RMT Apprentice members. The Working Group will continue to have a Secretary as nominated by the GS. This national working group should be responsible for the production of relevant and targeted information in a variety of forms for use nationally and tailored to regional initiatives.
That Regional Councils establish a Regional Apprentice Working Group that includes the YM Regional & Branch Officers, YM Advisory Committee member and any regional Apprentice members (to be agreed by the Regional Council). This group is to advise the Regional Council of the regional organising work required in companies within the region. Following a regional mapping exercise the Regional Working group would target specific companies for Apprentice organising initiatives. The Regional Council should provide the General Secretary with bi annual reports on progress of their Regional Apprentice Working Group.
That Branch organising plans include a commitment to organising Apprentices and support the work of the Regional Apprentice Working Group.
That all Branches identify potential Apprentice members in their area.
That branches organise visits to Apprentice workplaces
That Branches report to Regional Councils on progress with organising apprentices.
Branches utilise their Young Member Officer, and Young Member activists with work around Apprentices.
Branches organise events and ‘gatherings’ for apprentices to attend for an introduction to the RMT
That strategic events, activities are organised to engage with existing and potential Apprentice members at;
•    Targeted Company sites/workplaces.
•    Local Colleges or Training facilities for Apprentices.
•    Trade Union Education Events to promote the RMT.
•    Social events for RMT Apprentices and potential RMT Apprentices.
•    That Apprentice week in March 2018 is used to launch the RMT Apprentice policy.”

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
RMT General Secretary