Promoting Young Workers Interests through Social Partnership Channels project Evaluation conference, Kiev, 13-14 May

The Social Development Agency (SDA), in cooperation with the Pan-European Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC/PERC), organized national conference on “Trade union youth policies” 13-14 of May in Kiev.

This conference closed the two-year “Promoting Young Workers Interests through Social Partnership Channels” TACIS IBPP project financed by the European Commission. The partners of the project are the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPU) and the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU); the overall aim of the project is to promote interests of the working youth in the Ukrainian society through mobilising participation of young workers in the processes of social partnership and dialog and through enabling trade union organisations to address specific needs and interests of young workers.

Young union activists who took part in the project also applied themselves as experts on the everyday life of young people in Ukraine and developed a set of recommendations to the authorities on the main directions of the national youth policy with reference to their acquired knowledge on the European Social Model. More than 200 trainees were involved in education activities in 11 regions of Ukraine – Kiev, Lviv, Zaporoj’e, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kirovohrad, Nikolaev, Khmelnitskiy, Lugansk and Chernigov while national thematic discussions – on decent work, on informal economy and role of the unions – as well as 6 regional conferences, with social partners, on the issues of decent work for young people brought together several hundred people.

The conference was aimed at assessing trade union and educational potential developed in the framework of the project and to outline its further usage and application by trade union organizations. It involved more than 60 young trade union activists from the project regions, as well as trade union leaders and representatives of the SDA and ITUC/PERC. During plenary sessions and group work the unionists have discussed the impact of the project in the regions, the successes and lessons learnt of the activities, the challenges that Ukrainian society and trade union are facing and the strategic role of trade union education in making workers organizations capable to meet them. The conference has discussed a document to be addressed to the government of Ukraine. In particular, the conference discussed the issues of education system of Ukraine, reforms of health system, the employment and labour market policies, wages, family and household issued, including housing programmes, as well as the urgency for the young workers to voice their concerns with decision making authorities, through and with assistance of their unions.

The participants of the conference have also developed recommendations for their unions to ensure follow-up, multiplicative effect and sustainability of the project action. These recommendations included:

-  Development of trade union strategy in the field of education, that would address all the level of trade union movement;
-  Design and implementation of cooperation projects, with unions of the European Union;
-  Planning of specific targeted trade union actions and trade union public relations campaigns.