On August 22, the three–day Regional Symposium ACTRAV ILO – Europe and Central Asia on the topic: “Trade union education and capacity building for the renewal of trade unions” began its work.

Within the framework of the online symposium, experts of the International Labour Organization, trade union leaders and activists, educators and scientists from Europe and Central Asia discussed issues of improving the effectiveness of trade union education and the revitalization of trade unions in the changing world of work.

Opening the meeting, the Head of the Europe and Central Asia Sector, the ILO ACTRAV Sergius Glovackas, urged the participants to analyze the current state in the field of training of trade union personnel and develop recommendations for solving problems arising in the changing sphere of work.

In her welcoming speech, the Director of the ILO ACTRAV, Maria Helena Andre, stressed the importance of raising the level of trade union education in order to strengthen the effectiveness of trade unions in achieving social justice and decent work.

According to her, the main factors of the transformations taking place in the world of work are technological progress, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gulnara Zhumageldieva, Deputy Chairman of the FTURK, informed the participants about the measures taken by the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of trade union education.

According to her, the personnel and organizational strengthening of trade unions, increasing the professionalism of elected and full-time trade union workers, stimulating renewal, and strengthening the viability of trade unions through the organization of systematic training are the most important strategic goals of the development of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“Constant, systematic training of trade union personnel can strengthen the viability, one can say the very existence of a trade union organization, the ability to represent and protect the rights and interests of employees in accordance with their expectations and demand” Gulnara Zhumageldieva stressed.

According to the Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the tasks of organizing and conducting trade union training are reflected in the Strategy of the FTURK for 2020-2025, as well as in the Concept of Trade Union Training approved by the General Council of the Federation.

“The Concept identifies three main levels of trade union training: The first is the initial training of trade union personnel and assets, the second is mandatory for all elected and full–time employees of trade union organizations and the third level is modular, programs in the main areas of trade union work. Today, the Pool of lecturers of the Federation includes liberated, experienced trade union workers of regional and branch trade unions. The topics of lectures cover all aspects of trade union activity” the Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan said.

She introduced her colleagues to the educational projects of the FTURK «Educational Marathon» and «School of a Trade Union Leader», covering a wide range of issues of trade union activity.

“Each project is considered to have taken place, achieved its goals if there are visible results. In comparison with the indicators of 2019, the number of those who have completed training has increased tenfold. During this period, we have managed to significantly improve the quality of trade union training and increase the coverage of trade union leaders and activists” Gulnara Zhumageldieva stressed.

At the same time, as the Deputy Chairman of the FTURK emphasized, the Federation’s experts focus special attention on the advanced nature of the training content in relation to the current tasks of trade unions and the creation of conditions for continuing education.

Speaking about the problems of training trade union lecturers and the lack of special programs for trade union speakers, Gulnara Zhumageldieva appealed to the ILO training center with a request to assist in the organization of professional development of trade union lecturers.

During the Regional Symposium, the participants considered such thematic areas as: «The current state in the field of trade union education in the region: Analysis of trends in the field of labor, new needs, and future challenges», «The impact of trade union education on the activities of trade union organizations: Analysis of the role of education in strengthening the effectiveness of trade unions and in the ability to solve issues arising in the process of transformational transformations», «Modern methodologies and approaches to trade union education: Discussion of practical solutions, aimed at improving the effectiveness of online learning, and innovative teaching and learning methods».

According to the organizers, a short report on the results of the regional symposium will be presented to the participants of the Global Symposium: «New approaches to trade union education for the renewal of trade unions». Which will take place on September 18-20 this year.

Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan