UNI Finance to set up youth network as successful Youth Academy project comes to an end

Friday 7 December 2018

Launched in January 2018, the joint UNI Finance / ILO ACTRAV project to train young trade unionists in Europe’s finance sector came to an end this week.

The participants – young trade union activists from across Europe’s finance sector – gathered one last time in Turin to take part in the final training session from leading experts on key communication skills and strategies to organise and boost trade union membership, visibility and impact.

They learned about the power that comes from communicating persuasively, how to put together an effective communications strategy using new digital tools, and how to lead a successful campaign.

This follows from previous training sessions on the impact of digitalisation for young workers, international and European labour and social rights, social dialogue and collective bargaining in the finance sector, and promoting and strengthening gender equality.

It was inspiring to see the young activists each take to the floor during the project’s closing conference. They put their newly acquired skills to the test to present all they had learned throughout the year and how they plan to apply it in their union activities going forward. The group also highlighted time and again how beneficial and confidence-boosting it was for them to be part of the Academy, and how encouraging it was for them to meet other young activists to share their, sometimes different but more often all too familiar, experiences of being a young trade unionist in Europe’s finance sector. Talking with each other, they realised that as well as facing similar challenges, by working together they have a real opportunity to make a difference not only in their workplace but all over Europe – and the world.

Angelo Di Cristo, Head of Department for UNI Finance, said: “I am delighted with the results of the training and the solidarity, support, enthusiasm and exchanges it generated. It was encouraging and humbling to spend time with these future trade union leaders and I hope that the project will help to consolidate youth structures and higher youth participation in trade union decision-making bodies.”

The participants have now asked for a youth network to be set up within UNI Finance to allow them to meet and exchange with other young activists not only from across Europe but also from the other UNI regions around the world.

UNI Europa Finance / UNI Global Union carried out the EU-funded ‘Youth Academy’ project throughout 2018, in partnership with the Programme for Workers’ Activities of the International Training Centre of the ILO (ACTRAV-Turin). The project was targeted at young trade union leaders, experts and activists from UNI Europa’s finance sector trade unions, to increase the level of expertise and skills of these young reps.