10th anniversary of educational programme that has hel...

10th anniversary of educational programme that has helped more than 7,000 migrant workers

14 December 2017
More than 7,000 workers have benefited from bespoke educational programmes over the last 10 years that have helped them to improve their language skills and gain employment.

The programme, developed and run by Unite, the country’s largest union, will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the TUC’s headquarters in London on Saturday (16 December).

The United Migrant Workers Education Programme (UMWEP) has assisted about 25 nationalities to integrate into UK society by a combination of ESOL (English as a second and foreign language) and other complementary courses, covering not just language skills, but also dance therapy and art.

Unite director of education Jim Mowatt said: “A migrant worker adapting to the mores and culture of the UK, while at the same time seeking employment, faces a daunting prospect and, sometimes, a frightening environment.

“Unite is proud to have been at the forefront of promoting a comprehensive educational programme that has helped more than 7,000 people from a wide range of countries to fulfil their potential as they embarked on their new lives in Britain.

“As we enter challenging economic times in 2018, this work underlines the need for Unite’s educational role to continue and expand as these workers enter the world of employment, where vigilance is constantly required to stop exploitation by unscrupulous bosses.

“The hospitality and hotel sectors employ thousands of migrant workers – without them these highly profitable businesses would struggle to maintain services and standards for customers.

“Yet, this is an area where some employers have shown a strong anti-union prejudice when it comes to recognition of workers’ rights, and adequate and decent rates of pay.

“In this respect, Unite is a one-stop shop for migrant workers – we help with their educational needs and then fight for them in the workplace.”  

More than 300 delegates are expected to attend the event at the TUC, Congress House, 8 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS on Saturday when there will be guest speakers, presentations from tutors and artistic performances with live music and dance.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065 or email: 
  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.