Drakeford backs young workers

Mark Drakeford has backed demands from UNISON Cymru/Wales’ Young Members group that will make a real difference to young people’s quality of life.

At an event honouring the work of UNISON Cymru/Wales’ Young Members, the AM for Cardiff West signed UNISON’s #RespectYourYouth Charter.

The Charter highlights the fact that young workers are 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.

In five key demands, UNISON Young Members in Wales have called for the implementation of the Real Living Wage irrespective of age, decent apprenticeships, fair employment, workplace equality and increased training opportunities.

Martyn Davies, Chair of UNISON Cymru/Wales Young Members’ Forum said:

“Wales has one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK and many apprenticeships that do not offer real training or a progression route. Meanwhile university tuition fees continue to rise while financial support such as grants have been withdrawn from many students. Add this to the increasing use of zero hour contracts and a “living wage” that pays younger people less than their older colleagues. This represents a poor deal for young people.

“Our #RespectYourYouth charter addresses these with its five key demands; pay the real living for all, quality apprenticeships, fair employment, equality in the workplace, and real development and training opportunities. We thank Mark Drakeford AM for signing our charter and we hope employers across Wales will follow soon.”

Mark Drakeford AM said:

“As a society, we have to invest in young people and I am delighted to sign UNISON Cymru/Wales’ #RespectYourYouth charter. The charter makes sense for young people, and it works for employers and government too. I would certainly encourage other politicians and organisations to sign the charter and help give young people the best possible start in life.”


Notes for editors

  • UNISON Cymru/Wales #RespectYourYouth Charter can be found here.
  • A video on UNISON Cymru/Wales Young Members’ work can be found here.
  • Photos show Mark Drakeford & UNISON Cymru/Wales Young Members at the signing on Friday 2 November 2018


Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 53 83 97