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SWU Blog: Encouraging young members to get involved

Union also to sponsor ‘Shout Out Uk’ political literacy programme

Held every year, the GFTU Young Members’ Development Weekend 2020 promotes trade unions to young people and shows how unions are relevant to their lives at work and beyond. 

It is an opportunity for General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU)  affiliated unions to campaign on the most important issues for young workers, give a platform to their organising activities and demonstrate the value that young members bring to the trade union movement.

John McGowan, SWU General Secretary highlights that ‘the GFTU Young Members’ Weekend has established itself as one of the most exciting, high impact Labour Movement events to inspire younger workers to understand more about their unions, the labour movement and the challenges we face politically and in the workplace.

It is a high octane event where SWU members  will meet other young activists and learn together in an engaging way, with great support and a ‘can do’ approach so that you can really make a difference in workplaces in the future’.

The event is fully funded by the GFTU who will cover receipted transport and all learning materials, meals, and overnight accommodation. The GFTU Young Members’ Weekend is free to SWU members and SWU Social Work Students members aged 30 years and under.

The dates are Friday 23rd – Sunday 25th October 2020 at the fantastic Quorn Grange Hotel in Leicestershire. To apply for a place please or discuss further contact    The deadline for applications is strictly October 6th at 12 noon.


Political Literacy Programme:

SWU will be supporting some schools in Birmingham to run the Political Literacy programme.

The programme covers an Introduction to British Politics (voting, Parliament, MPs), International Relations, Trade Unionism and Political Theory (Left and Right wing, international bodies), Media Literacy (how to critically analyse the media and deal with misinformation) and Employability skills (debating and public speaking).

The SWU funded presentation will cover Political Literacy with the upper years of Hodge Hill Girls School, Birmingham. SWU will attend the speech night with the students and then talk about the union, unionism, and Social Work as well!

SWU general secretary John McGowan said: “I am delighted that SWU is supporting the great work of Shout Out UK and supporting spreading the political knowledge to young people.”

John added: “Education materials do a disservice not only to unions, but to the students who will one day be a part of the workforce. Those students are not receiving a fair and accurate accounting of British labour history and the role of unions.

“They enter the workforce without understanding what unions are and how organised labour can help them secure the best possible working conditions.”