UNISON: Insecure work means mental strain for young people

Martyn David


Life on zero hours, low pay and insecure work has taken its toll on young people in Wales.  That’s the message from UNISON which has organised a ‘Young Workers’ Well-being’ event today (Friday), thought to be the first of its kind in Wales.

The trade union has brought together the Cwm Taf Local Government Area, Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board, University of South Wales, South Wales Police and Justice, and South Wales Fire and Rescue, for a day of discussion and workshops on stress management, pensions, apprenticeships and more at the Conference Centre, University of South Wales, Trefforest.

UNISON says young workers have been disproportionately hit by the UK Government’s austerity policies and says a combination of increased university tuition fees, unemployment, poorer job opportunities, lower pay and rapid house price inflation is deteriorating young people’s prospects.

The event is being organised as part of UNISON’s Year of the Young Worker and caps a very successful time for UNISON Cymru Wales’ Young Members Forum and its treble award-winning #RespectYourYouth campaign.

Martyn David, chair of UNISON’s Young Members’ Forum said,

“Young workers are more likely to be in insecure work and low paid roles which affect their daily lives. They are held back from progressing in the workplace by limited training opportunities and career development.

“There’s no doubt young people are struggling with their work/life balance. They often feel stressed, overwhelmed or unwell. UNISON is asking young workers whether they know how to maintain positive mental health and we want to support them with guidance for their well-being and other workplace issues.

“UNISON Cymru Wales wants all employers to sign our #RespectYourYouth Charter. Its five key demands are the implementation of the Real Living Wage irrespective of age, decent apprenticeships, fair employment, workplace equality and increased training opportunities.

“We’re very proud First Minister Mark Drakeford has signed our Charter along with 12 other Assembly Members and Cardiff County Council and Careers Wales.”

Notes for editors

  • UNISON Young Workers Well-Being Event takes place on Friday 22 November, 10am-3pm at the Conference Centre, University of South Wales, Trefforest
  • Journalists wishing to attend should contact Alastair Gittins (below). UNISON spokespeople will be available for interview
  • UNISON Cymru Wales young members are multi-award winning, being honoured by the Trades Union Congress and UNISON nationally
  • UNISON’s Young Members’ Charter can be found here.
  • A video on UNISON Cymru/Wales Young Members’ work can be found here.
  • Follow the day’s events and discussions via UNISON’s social media platforms, including @UNISONWales #YoungWorkersWellbeing #YOYW19


Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397