Less than 1 in 20 union members are aged between 16 and 24 and over half of union reps are 50 and over, which means over the next 10 to 15 years we will lose over half our reps. We urgently need to address this demographic cliff-edge.
Too often, Britain’s young workers aren’t trade union members because we haven’t done enough to help them realise the benefits of trade unionism in a language that is accessible, persuasive, and relevant to their working lives.
There can be no more urgent task for a union movement that exists to win fair work for everyone. One way to do that is to make sure that young workers are in a union which understands their lives and is geared up to win the changes to work they need.
Unlike previous generations, current young workers are not turning to unions as they age and settle down. Young workers’ absence from trade unionism has many interrelating causes and challenges:
But we know different. Unions are for everyone. They’ve had a tremendously positive impact on millions of people’s lives and can continue to do so. To meet the challenges facing young workers today, we've created a Young Workers toolkit to help you organise young people in your workplace.
The aim of this toolkit is to communicate the need for unions to actively engage with young workers, and to give them the platform to speak for themselves.
We know that for unions to still be relevant in the future, they need to be relevant to young workers now. Young workers are more than tomorrow’s members, they are part of today’s fight. If we as a movement want to build and grow, we need to be engaging with them with a compelling offer in a language they can relate to.