Union Summer normally runs for 3 weeks in February and Union Winter normally runs for 2 weeks in July.
Union Summer will run from Monday 5 February- Friday 23 February 2024.
Applications for Union Summer 2024 are now CLOSED. Expressions of interest for the Union Winter 2024 program can be made here.
Please note that while we endeavour to offer placements to as many young workers as possible, this is a highly competitive internship with limited spots available.
What happens at Union Summer?
- Visit a work site
- Learn how to have an organising conversation
- Attend a hearing at Fair Work
- Meet with an employer
- Participate in a campaign event
- Meet delegates and rank & file members
- Be given an overview of union’s organisational and structure, including its rules
- Participants also spend several days with the rest of their Union Summer cohort and the Young Workers team at Trades Hall hearing from guest speakers of the union movement and creating a campaign action.
Who should apply?
The program is aimed at young workers aged 30 and under. There are no other specific pre-requisites, however an interest in social justice and workplace issues is highly regarded. If you are a union member we strongly recommend you mention this in your application.
When will applications open?
Applications for Union Summer 2024 are now closed. You can submit an EOI for Union Winter 2024 here.
What do interns say?
- "This program has made me feel much more empowered to try to tackle disenfranchisement in my workplaces. I feel a lot more optimistic about organising in the workplace now that I have seen how effective that it can be."
- "Never stop organising! This program has reignited my fire to build a union workplace wherever I work."
- "I learnt so much around occupation health and safety, gendered violence and Industrial Relations frameworks that I had no idea about!"
- "I've learnt a lot about EBAs, the Fair Work Act and various union-related knowledge that I had zero clue prior to this. The skills around organising conversations and campaign strategy will be useful in my volunteer position with effective altruism groups."
Past participants and where they are now
Leon: Leon completed Union Summer in 2017 and now works at the Young Workers Centre as a solicitor. This is what he shared with us about Union Summer:
“My first introduction to the union movement was being an advocate at Young Workers Centre during my law degree. I loved the culture and the work so much that I wanted to stay involved!
Sitting in on EBA negotiations was great, but my favourite part was going on site visits with organisers. Before Union Summer I had no understanding of what organisers did on a day-to-day basis. It was really enlightening and inspiring.
I stayed involved with the Young Workers Centre as an activist after Union Summer, and in April 2018 I successfully applied for a position as Legal Placement Coordinator recruiting our volunteer advocates. I got my legal practicing certificate in September 2019 and became a Solicitor with the Centre shortly after.”