Ground-breaking modern slavery project begins at Boston College
12th September 2018
Students joining and returning to Boston College this year will take part in a pioneering course with the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) to raise their awareness of modern slavery and labour exploitation.
The pilot project for 2018-19 is the first time a college in the UK has worked with the GLAA to introduce and embed the subject of labour exploitation and modern slavery across its diverse range of academic and vocational courses.
A launch event was held at the college in early June, with the pilot receiving the endorsement of Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones, and Member of Parliament for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman.
Since then, the GLAA has delivered training to over 200 staff at the college who are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to deliver tutorials on the subject, as well as underpinning the college’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people, and vulnerable adults.
Inductions will be held over the next few weeks before Visual Arts and Media students will be commissioned by the GLAA to use their creative talents to design a new concept around raising awareness of labour exploitation and modern slavery.
All full-time students regardless of their course, will receive a tutorial at some point in the year on workers’ rights and spotting the signs of modern slavery.
A Rights and Responsibilities Week will be held in October with the GLAA, Lincolnshire Police, ACAS, local employers and the Salvation Army organising activities to increase students’ knowledge about labour exploitation and apply it to real world scenarios.
At the end of the project, the GLAA will make a range of educational resources for all other colleges and post-16 education providers across the UK freely available.
Boston College Co-ordinator for the GLAA project, Rebecca Clark, said: “The college has been at the forefront of promoting equality and diversity initiatives for several years and therefore is proud to be working with the GLAA on this ground-breaking initiative, which specifically targets 16-24 year olds who will be the future workforce.”
“It is essential our learners understand their rights in the workplace, and by providing this information, it safeguards our young people who will be moving in to employment. The project also provides an opportunity for our staff and parents to learn about modern slavery and labour exploitation.”
GLAA Director of Strategy Darryl Dixon said: “Our prevention and engagement work is critical to tackling the serious and insidious problem of modern slavery and labour exploitation. We are very clear that we cannot simply arrest our way out of the problem.
“For this reason, our pilot project with Boston College is of utmost importance. Raising awareness of workers’ rights and signs of abuse will not only help protect students as they move into the workplace, but also ensure that they know what to do if they have any suspicions of modern slavery or labour exploitation.
“Everyone in society has a moral and ethical duty to put an end to slavery and exploitation and we are delighted that Boston College is taking such a proactive role in giving its students the best possible opportunity to help us stop these awful crimes.”