The 1st of May is International Worker’s Day, a day where we recognise the value and achievements of working people all over the world!

Today we should all keep a better future for workers at the forefront of our minds. In the UK, International Worker’s Day can get overshadowed by May Day festivities, but it’s not a day to lose sight of. Many workers around the world are still organising to secure fair pay and safe working conditions - things that should be available to all workers, no matter their occupation.

It’s hard to pinpoint when the first international worker’s day was conceived. Some trace it to when Labour Day was chosen as a widespread holiday in North America in the 1880s. Others say it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labour in May, 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada. 

In any case, over the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, many advances were made by the trade union movement to provide workers with the safe and secure jobs they needed and deserve. Today, we enjoy the fruits of the negotiation of workers’ rights, many of which we now take for granted, such as sick pay, collective bargaining and the modern weekend.

As an education company that delivers vocational qualifications, we are acutely aware that the certificates we confer allow our learners to attain employment. We are connected and involved – without qualifications, certain jobs would be out of reach for certain people. By extension, by conferring qualifications, we ensure that the training an individual receives is of the highest quality. Accessing said training allows these individuals to attain better positions and improve their quality of life.

British qualifications, in particular, are highly regarded and in demand around the world. Their global distribution ensures that workers in all countries can get quality qualifications to secure quality jobs.

TQUK has been a passionate advocate for the export of British qualifications. Last year, we launched TQUK Hong Kong, our new hub delivering TQUK qualifications to East and Southeast Asia. This hub will allow us to contribute to large projects in one of the fastest-growing parts of the world, such as the One Belt One Road Initiative of the Chinese government. This initiative will demand a massive amount of manpower to achieve and the jobs created could potentially lift millions out of poverty. But in order for this project to work, the workers involved need the appropriate skills. Many are looking to British qualifications to deliver. TQUK stands ready to provide the vocational qualifications to help make this dream a reality.

Education is not the only reason TQUK holds International Worker’s Day close to our hearts. It’s part of our heritage. We’re born and bred in Manchester. We love our city, not least because of its long and storied history as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and the cradle of the trade union movement.

Manchester is renowned the world over for the industriousness of its workers, an industriousness sustained by a strong sense of community. Mancunians are great at pulling together during hard times, but they also excel at doing so to achieve a common cause, often to impressive results.

TQUK tries to exemplify such values in our everyday work - values of community and solidarity that can be found in workers movements that began in this city. We always strive to be caring and committed to each other and to work positively to achieve any outcome. Working together, we can do anything we set our minds to!

To follow our International Worker’s Day posts, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

See you out there!