Young people are critical to the future of trade unionism and the strength, effectiveness and legitimacy of trade unions. Youth do not understand what trade unions mean, neither do they identify strongly with its principles and values and thus often times reject trade unionism. However, they frequently face difficulty finding their place in trade union structures and activities when they join trade unions. Unions must respond better in their policies and actions to the needs and expectations of young workers, make them feel welcome and remove the obstacles that prevent their full participation. The FES Young Workers Training programme seeks to increase youth's active participation, involvement and ability to influence trade unions' policies and programmes.
The Programme provides young workers practical ways to develop their priorities and present them to union leadership. It facilitates the formation of youth structures within the participating unions where none exist and builds the capacity of youth leaders to be better able to participate and influence trade unions policies. It also helps to raise politically conscious youth leaders within trade unions.
The Programme targets thirty-five (35) young people, two (2) youth leaders each from the five (5) affiliates of IndustriALL in Nigeria, namely- NUEE, NUPENG, NUTGTWN, NUCFRLANMPE, SEWUN and AUTOBATE; one (1) Youth from three (3) PSI affiliates such as NASU, NCSU, and Amalgamated Union; and four (4) young people from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
In all, 35 young people from the trade unions and civil society organisations will participate in the youth training every last Friday and Saturday of the month for nine (9) months. At the end of each cohort, the participants would have learnt practical ways to establish functional youth committees in unions where they are not existing, present young workers' priorities to union leadership, and lead advocacy for unions' constitutions to adopt youth-friendly policies.