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New pilot programme giving young people insight into the world of work

A NEW pilot project helping to prepare young people for a career and to understand their working rights has begun as part of the new Curriculum for Wales.

Aimed at young people aged 13-16 years old, up to 35 schools from across Wales will take part in the new Unions and the World of Work programme.

Schools’ collaborations with businesses are already providing learners with opportunities to learn about work and employment. Developing the skills required by employers, and to raise the aspirations of all learners in considering the full range of opportunities available to them.

In this new programme, the Welsh Government has worked with the Wales Trades Union Congress (Wales TUC) to highlight themes including workers’ rights and equalities, healthy working environments and the role of unions.

The Minister for Education, Jeremy Miles and Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn and Shavanah Taj, Wales TUC General Secretary, visited Caerleon Comprehensive to see the new project getting underway.

Minister for Education, Jeremy Miles, said: “Work plays a huge role in our adult life and we want young people to know not only what is expected of them but also what they should expect from employers.

We want to equip young people for their first steps into the workplace and ensure that alongside the right qualifications and skills, they also have a good knowledge of the workplace.

“This new project will support the delivery of the careers and work-related experience strand of the new curriculum, which is committed to young people gaining a solid grounding so they can grow to be ethical, informed and enterprising citizens.”

Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn, said: “I’m really proud that we have been able to develop this project in social partnership with trade unions, teachers and schools.

“Learning about the rights of workers, the responsibilities of employers and the role of trade unions is vital to ensuring our young people are well prepared for the world of work.

“The Welsh Government is using every lever we have to promote and enable fair work. Ensuring the next generation of workers, employers and entrepreneurs learn about issues that make work better for all supports our journey to becoming a fair work nation.” 

Following the pilot in secondary schools, it is hoped the programme will be extended to primary schools, further education institutions and community youth settings. 

Shavanah Taj, Wales TUC General Secretary, said: “If young workers don’t understand their workplace rights, it can make them vulnerable to poor employment practices and accidents at work.

Which is why I was very excited to visit a delivery session of the Unions and the World of Work (UWoW) pilot at Caerleon Comprehensive School. The creativity and enthusiasm that the pupils brought to solving problems as a collective was really inspiring. It’s great to see Wales leading the way in ensuring future generations are ready and geared up to enter the world of work with a better understanding of how to advocate for themselves and stand up for others.”

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