Apprenticeship Charter must take account of disability issues

Kathleen Kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy

Local Government Conference backed a National FE & 6th Form Colleges Committee call for measures to ensure that apprentices are well supported, have proper contracts of employment and get the rate for the job, are not used as cheap labour and get a job at the end of it.

The SGE will update recruitment materials and the negotiating guide, and an amendment from Derbyshire County also means that an Apprenticeship Charter will be drawn up to give apprentices security and protection in the workplace and the opportunity to join a Trade Union.

Aberdeenshire Branch equalities officer, Kathleen Kennedy supported the amendment and the motion on behalf of the National Disabled Members committee and told delegates that this issue is really important to Disabled Members.

Kathleen said, “Apprenticeships can be a good way of getting a job, but disabled people often find it really hard to get an apprenticeship because employers want to have to make reasonable adjustments for an apprentice.

“So we are really pleased that the motion talks about equal opportunities and Special Educational Needs.

“But if we are to improve disabled people’s chances of getting an apprenticeship we can’t just talk about it. We have to take action,” urged Kathleen.

“We really like the idea of an Apprenticeship Charter,” she added but called on the SGE to make sure they include disabled people’s issues when they are drafting the charter.

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