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Employee Relations HND 2013 Assignment 3 Essay

In regard to apprenticeships UNISON has actually made a lot of efforts as to gather as many new apprentices as they can because the current UK public sector workforce is full of old people who will be retiring soon and therefore leaving a lot of job vacancies which will be filled out by other old people who may have experience but will lack the drive and energy to work as hard as the youth.

The new apprenticeship schemes used by UNISON encourage real work with learning and training, Using on-the job and off-the job methods they are able to target the apprentices and make sure that they are well aware of their work and well acquainted to their workplace as well.

The UK government plans to create at least 21,000 places in the NHS, education and local government sectors for new apprentices. In order to support this plan since November 2009, Apprenticeship programs have been covered by the Act of Parliament and 250,000 apprenticeships started.

Technically The high quality training through apprenticeships give the youth confidence as well as skill to pursue important work roles. Boosting the Uk economy as well as benefitting their businesses.

UNISON is for the growth of apprenticeships schemes for the youth. It does so by providing a working base for them to be able to gain new skills and credentials. It works towards apprentices being safeguarded from being used as cheap labor, as well as giving the youth a proper chance on the career ladder. It is currently influencing the employers of local government s and various other occupations to introduce types of apprenticeship schemes. Working as a sort of cohesion between employers and apprentices it works to make sure the schemes meet the needs of the employers and apprentices. A little more information regarding what they do to help apprentices are as follows;

The can help increase wages, help manage appropriate working hours and improve working conditions using collective bargaining. They sometimes also encourage employees to take industrial actions in order for them to reach their objectives. Give legal advice and amenities to help solve any problems in the workplace. Have Promotions and discounts on services like car insurance. Give apprentices the chance to develop personal matters as well as to gain basic skills or professional qualification. The Apprentices are
given good quality training schemes in public services. Protected by minimum wage legislation to receive proper wages. They are not discriminated against for any reasons.

A further study on UNISON shows that they go into great lengths to looking after their members, they have bargained with employers regarding housing, healthcare and other benefits that the employee receives and been able to increase the efficiency of employees which affects the overall efficiency of the company as a whole.

The reasons UNISON supports apprenticeship is because they are able to benefit the society as well as the market in many ways; It gives opportunities to the youth of the society and also introduces new people into the industry therefore making it valuable as more minds have more ideas and methods. It includes a progression advancement that allows the people to increase their levels of skills and qualifications Generates a positive learning environment within a company.

The external factors making apprenticeship schemes important;

The government sector of the UK needs to have a major increase in the number of public sector apprenticeship schemes for youth as to balance out the country’s economy, placing as many qualified youths as possible into the sectors will help them achieve this, reducing the rate of lack-of-job opportunities. Before the training participation age was raised in 2013, the Act of Parliament covered the apprenticeship programmes and 250,000 apprenticeships began on November 2009 to allocate as many apprentices as possible in the government sectors. The training they received helped them increase their overall knowledge and working abilities which also played a huge role in the economy of the country.

The UK has a high number of people who fit into what is called the “Baby Boom” generation, These are people who were born after the Second World War
and are now in their 50’s and 60’s and nearing retirement therefore pushing the Government to act and allocate more young skilled workers to the positions of those are nearing retirement. Apprenticeships are a perfect way of providing such a workforce and also allow youth to have more oppurtunities for progression within an organization.

Bargaining – Negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction.

Agenda – A list of items of business to be considered and discussed at a meeting

Using these definitions we can come to a conclusion that Bargaining Agenda is the list of terms used while bargaining with employers, negotiating employment agreements and lobbying for change to legislation in an industrial relations point of view.

The list can consist of various things that range from pay raise to issues at the workplace.

The use of bargaining agenda can be at meetings or even brainstorming sessions by either sides and it will greatly benefit the employers and the employees; Employers will benefit from higher productivity, improved recruitment and retention and better staff morale and it will dramatically improve the quality of workers’ lives and levels of job satisfaction.

When a bargaining agenda is made, the problem which is at hand is noted as well as factors affecting it and what the outcome might be, classifying all this information it is used while in meetings to rectify the problem and make sure that all factors and options are thoroughly analysed before the final decision is made.

UNISON does not have authority to set up or approve apprenticeship schemes, instead they use their positive working partnerships with the employers to persuade and influence decisions made by them in various ways and sometimes even controlling the decisions.

How they do so is as follows;
They recognise and promote present schemes which have the best practice by consulting the UNISON members and using feedback regarding the apprenticeship schemes which is then given to the employers. Provides negotiation guides for employers who are proposing to introduce a scheme to use. They have played an active role in seeking to persuade the Low Pay Commission to set fair and appropriate pay standards for apprentices, which is why apprentices are now covered by the minimum wage laws.

UNISON has worked with North Yorkshire Council on a scheme and was able to to create around 300 apprenticeships with a mentor for each apprentice, a decent salsry and time for the apprentices to study for their qualifications.

The service that UNISON and other trade unions provide is justice. They see to it that each employee is given what they deserve. Regarding what their qualifications are they are allocated and given jobs, and even if their qualifications are not up to standards they are allowed to work while earning their qualifications alongside either at work or at colleges.

The examples are already stated above . This shows that the services trade unions provide is very very important for companys and organizations and moreover for the entire countrys economy, seeing by how UNISON established their Return to Learn program it is eminent that they are doing more of a service to the general public and help all the youths as well as elders achieve things they could not otherwise achieve.

Question2:

Influence of the EU on Industrial Democracy in the UK

Industrial democracy is an understanding where employees make decisions, partake in responsibility and authority in the place of work. Some European countries have had the structure of Industrial Democracy allocated from a long period of time; however the concepts behind Industrial Democracy are not well established in the views of managers and unions in British organizations. The European Law making process attempts to encourage the employees to have a firm role in the company’s decision making process. The current Businesses based on partnerships where the unions and the organizations work toward the same goals, currently exist in the British Industry due to the current EU influence.

Unions are thought to be institutions that’s purpose is to tutor the management and employees regarding the positive effects of including workers in the decision making process, Due to this employees involvement in the decision making of an organization has become practical, Impacting positively on employees performance as well as enhancing their influence to the attainment of the organization. Thus leading to Works Councils having representatives in all departments of the organization. The main role of a Works Councils is to talk over the long term goals of the organization and to recommend approaches to improve the future forecasts of the organization. It is also possible for Worker Shareholders and Worker Partners to have a stake in the ownership of the business.

Share-Holding is often encouraged within an organization using share options and saving schemes. These schemes have been successful in the UK with some companies stressing on the importance of employees having a stake in the company. Even though it is feared that the European Monetary Union might increase ‘Wage Dumping’ (Where companies pay workers less than the standard rate set.) Ways In Which Employee Participation and Involvement In Decision Making van be met in an organization. There are various methods in which employee involvement in organisations can be met, also known as mechanisms; Attitude Surveys:

An attitude survey can be conducted in order to find out employee views on matters that concern them. This can be used to find out views regarding job evaluation, pay determination and performance management in order to evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency and furthermore find out the employees view on fairness and equality. As well as to stimulate views regarding personnel policies and how they operate in views of equal opportunity, employee development and health and safety. Attitude surveys are conducted through planned questionnaires, interview and focus group discussions. Quality Circle/Improvement Groups:

They are small groups of volunteers who are involved in related work within an organization. This method can be used to solve problems/issues which are a result of a ‘top-down’ management, where the management ignores the issues that exist between other levels in an organization. This provides opportunities to use the knowledge of employees , who might have experience in work-related problems that are hidden from managers. Suggestion Schemes:

This is a method that provides a valuable means for the employees to participate in stating improvements/changes that can be made to increase the overall efficiency of the organization. In this type of process employees are able to discuss with the management regarding how they believe the company is running. Direct Participation:

Through direct participation employees can be involved in decision making processes that affect their everyday work routines.


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