The Chief Minister yesterday welcomed representatives of Unite the Union to No 6 Convent Place and received their Apprenticeship Policy Document.

He said: ‘I am grateful to Unite the Union for the positive and constructive spirit in which they have provided us with their policy proposals on this important matter. I very much welcome these proposals. The Cabinet will review the document and consider Unite’s ideas in the next few days.’ 


In their policy document, Unite says Gibraltar is facing a skills shortage and needs to strengthen long term job opportunities for our youth.

Unite have for some time been warning about the lack of pathways to employment for those who are not able to, or decide not to go to university and particularly about the lack of a properly structured apprenticeship programme. In the past this has led to representations being made to government suggesting the forms of organisation and infrastructure necessary for the delivery of high-quality apprenticeships leading to recognised qualifications.

"We have been uneasy about the lack of coordinated planning between the Departments of Education and Employment. It seems to us that there is a mismatch or misalliance between the huge economic and human investment in education and how this leads into fruitful, worthwhile employment for our youth.

"It is evident that other sectors of our society are also in full agreement with Unite’s view, that a comprehensive study of the apprenticeship scheme needs to be undertaken in order to implement a serious programme of study that will equip our future tradeswomen and men for the jobs market. This impression has been gleaned not only from our contact with our young members but also with the difficulty we find prospective employees encounter in their search for quality jobs and career prospects.

Unite aims are to encourage better training initiatives that will lead to meaningful employment. Have in place a skills eco-system to deliver quality skilled apprenticeships providing young people with skilled jobs.

They will continue with their campaign towards the improvement of the apprenticeship qualifications in Gibraltar.

The City and Guilds Qualification in place which was implemented in consultation with a UK commercial enterprise, is not in their opinion adequate for the needs of Gibraltar. Although Government argues that it is, based on their theory, that we only need general craftsmen in wet trades for the maintenance of government buildings.

Although Unite have tended to encourage government funding mainly in construction trades, the progressive nature of our modern and constantly diversifying economy prompts us to push to exploring other fields such as the catering and tourism industry, computer coding and the care services among others.

Beyond our concern with apprenticeships, we at Unite the Union strongly believe that, given the Gibraltar Government’s commitment to education and the increased public funds spent on its delivery, a consultation process with Unite and other stakeholders should be put in place in order to ensure that Gibraltar becomes fully compliant with established standards in the delivery of qualifications.