A functioning social dialogue relies on strong trade unions. Yet, unions are only strong if they are well-equipped, both internally and externally. Within the trade union sector, FES and its partners create opportunities for long-term academic learning and leadership education.
There is limited access to higher education for mid-level trade unionist, which creates a gap in knowledge between employers and trade union activists. This limits the bargaining power of the worker representatives in social dialogues on the factory, national and global level. The Academy of Work (AoW), a three-month residential programme for mid-level unionists from different industries, addresses that gap. It helps to create knowledge on global issues, to build alliances and strong organisations and to foster a discussion on responsible leadership within the movement.
FES embeds its work with the AoW Fellows in its wider focus on young change makers in the labour rights movement. By working continuously with younger activists and AoW alumni, we hope to create a strong and lasting network.