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CWU Youth Conference Policy 2013

8 November 2013

The CWU Youth Conference 2013 adopted a number of resolutions that interacts with the working being done by the Education and Training Department.

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In particular, motions 5, 7 and 8 were adopted in the following terms:

Motion 5

Conference believes that a programme of political education aimed at young CWU members is long overdue and would be of enormous value. It therefore instructs the Youth Committee to actively campaign for this and to report back on their activity and progress by no later than 30 June 2013.

Work is taking place with Lodestone Communications to understand why it seems that a significant number of the union's young members are disengaged from the political process and have expressed an intention not to vote. Discussions have taken place between the departments and short courses capable of being delivered on a regional or local basis on the question of political education/political engagement are now available.

Motion 7

Conference believes in the importance of educating young people on employment rights and the roles of trade unions. Therefore conference instructs the CWU Youth Committee to review the existing unions in schools programme and to consult with the TUC and working and teaching unions such as the NUT, NASUWT to work towards bringing this up to date with the aim of it becoming a core part of the citizenship syllabus by the 2013/2014 school year.

The Youth Committee has reviewed the existing materials that are online at: http://www.unionsintoschools.org.uk/. Discussions have also taken place with the TUC who have advised that their priority at present is to secure better take-up of the existing materials. There have also been discussions with the Citizenship Foundation, a government-funded organisation that have responsibility for the content of the Citizenship GCSE curriculum. Although the target of making changes for the 2013/14 school year has been missed, it is hoped branches will appreciate that the Youth Committee has not been inactive on this subject, and will continue to work in support of the objectives contained in motion 7.

Motion 8

Conference believes in the importance of educating young people on employment rights and the role of trade unions. Conference instructs the cwuyouth committee to look at broadening and strengthening the current union in schools programme. Allowing key members (i.e. branch officers) of the union more support and encouragement to enter secondary aged schools to further inform the next working generation of the support and work the union can offer..

The Youth Committee sought clarification from the movers of the motion and as a result was able to clarify that reference to "strengthening the current Unions in Schools programme" related to the ability of union representatives to enter schools as described in the motion.

Given the TUC's priority at present is to secure better take-up of existing materials, it has been decided to seek information from branches and other interested parties about the extent to which CWU activists at a local branch or regional level have established a good working relationship with schools in their area and have secured some agreement that enables them to address students as part of Citizenship, History, Economics, Business Studies or other courses of study.