EPSU Youth network publishes survey of attitudes of young workers

(29 August 2019) After months of dedicated work by the EPSU Youth network in collaboration with the ETUC Youth and the European Youth Forum (EYF), the survey ‘Young workers: attitudes to work, unions and society’ is published.

The survey was launched at the beginning of 2019 and over 1000 youngsters from across Europe answered the set of questions prepared by the EPSU Youth network with the support of Kurt Vandaele from the ETUI. The final report was drafted by Andy Hodder from Birmingham University.

The main findings of the report are:

  • The majority of the sample are both contracted to work and actually work at least 35 hours per week, despite the growing nature of precarious work among young people.
  • Qualitative data however suggests there remains a concern about employment security and precarity.
  • In-line with this, younger workers (aged 24 and under) and students have a preference for future employment with a standard contract of employment
  • The main reasons for joining a trade union remain consistent with existing research: improvements in pay and conditions, belief in trade unions, and support if problems occurred at work.
  • The main reason people had not joined a trade union was because they had not been asked(19%), with a further 18% indicating they had not got around to it. This is encouraging from an organising perspective.
  • Passive union members were more likely to stop being union members in the future, showing the need to continually engage and organise existing members for membership retention.
  • Men are significantly more likely to report engagement with societal interests and organisations.
  • Active union members are more likely to be also active in wider society.

The EPSU Youth network will now distribute and discuss across public sector unions the findings of the survey.

The survey was drafted in English and translated into French, Spanish, Czech, Serbo-Croatian, Swedish, German and Russian.