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Union Summer Internship Program 2016

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What is Union Summer?
Union Summer is a three week internship program coordinated by the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC). The program gives young people experience and develops their skills in areas such as advocacy, union organising, industrial relations and activism within a trade union setting.

The program combines specific training by VTHC and a work placement with a Victorian union, providing individuals with an understanding of the Australian industrial relations system as well as hands-on experience in organising workplaces.

Download the Application Form

Program objectives

  • To provide an opportunity for young people to contribute to building the union movement in Victoria.
  • To develop the campaign and activist skills and interests of interns.
  • To facilitate greater involvement of young people in the trade union movement, providing pathways for further engagement.
  • To increase interns' knowledge and understanding of Fair Work Australia, industrial laws and regulations that apply to unions.
  • To give participants a greater understanding of the social and industrial issues confronting workers today.
  • To facilitate meaningful insight into union organising and campaign strategies.
  • To promote young people’s understanding of the day to day operations of individuals unions, state and national peak councils.
  • To promote young people’s understanding of union structures.
  • For unions to learn more about the issues facing young workers and strategies to better involve and organise young workers. 

What will placements entail?

An intern's individual program will depend on the union they are placed with, however below are some activities that we suggest interns should experience:

  • Work site visits
  • Being trained to have an organising conversation
  • Attendance at Fair Work Australia hearings
  • Meeting with an employer
  • Participating in a campaign event
  • Meeting delegates
  • Be given an overview of union’s organisational and structure, including its rules

Participants will also experience a number of training days at Victorian Trades Hall where they will have an opportunity to meet and work with other Union Summer interns and hear from speakers on a variety of topics such as the history of the union movement and current campaigns in Australia and abroad.

Research project

Interns will be asked to undertake a research project while on placement in their union with a presentation occurring on the last day of the program. Some potential topics include:

  • Recruitment of casual employees.
  • Approaches to online communication.
  • Organising apprentices around OHS.
  • Activating and engaging trainees and apprentices at TAFE.
  • Developing youth committees in unions.
  • Organising young workers in call centres. 

Projects are flexible and will be discussed with interns before the commencement of the program. 

How to get involved:
When: 25th January-12th February 2016 (full-time)

Interns will be paid the adult minimum wage of $17.29 an hour, or $656.90 for a 38 hour week.

Who should apply?

We accept applications from young people under the age of 35. Whilst there are no prerequisites for the internship, a proven interest in social justice and workers’ rights will be beneficial.

Download the Application Form

Applications close Wednesday 23rd October

For more info contact VTHC Youth Organisers Rose Steele, Clare Boland, Shirley Jackson and Amy Fitzgerald   on 9659 3511 or youth@vthc.org.au.

We Volunteers

We Are Union!

We are a movement of people standing together for a just and equitable Victoria where:

  • all people are respected and valued, 
  • all working people are organised, safe, and winning at work


We organise our communities to build support for union industrial and social campaigns, and we're excited to have you on board.



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