ACTU: Organising Works Trainee Union Organisers

Australian Council of Trade Unions
Organising Works, a program to develop grass-roots leaders of tomorrow.

Everyday workers are given the confidence and encouragement to make a difference in their workplace. They achieve this through a strong network of workplace representatives and organising staff.

Organising Works is a training program developing new waves of union organisers. Organisers that help workers stand together, to stand proud and build a better future across Australia.


The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is the peak union body representing almost 2 million workers and their families.

Since our creation in 1927, the ACTU has spearheaded some of the most fundamental workplace struggles in Australia’s history.

The ACTU’s role as a peak body is to encourage workers to join their union, be a national voice for our movement, and advance and defend workers’ rights by co-ordinating union campaigns, representing workers at a range of government and non-government forums and to provide industrial, policy and other support to our affiliates.

Position Organising Works Trainee (Full Time Position)
Location All Capital Cities
Applications closing date 15 July
Interview dates and process Round 1 interviews with the ACTU July 29 – August 23; Round 2 Interviews with employing unions September 9 – October 4

Appointment date Employment will commence on a date to be mutually agreed by the employing union and the successful candidate (commencement dates may range from November 11 2024 to January 2025).
Pay To be determined with employing union
Education and development for candidates applying from outside the union movement Successful applicants will be placed with a sponsoring union. The sponsoring union will be the employer. The Organising Works Unit at the ACTU will be responsible for recruitment to the program, education, and development over the 12-month duration of the program.
Existing Union Representatives / Delegates   Existing workplace union delegates, activists and Health and Safety Reps are very much encouraged to apply. To do so, notify your union and ask that they support your application, then contact us. Successful and supported applicants will be placed with their union or an agreed union.

The Organising Works program was established in 1994 to provide affiliated unions with a younger more diverse group of organisers to organise and empower workers. Since then, more than 1,000 people have advanced through the program – playing their part in steering the trade union movement through difficult, but exciting times.

If you believe that the world could be different, that it should be different. If you want to play an active role in helping workers and communities fight for a better world, then we want to hear from you.

Over the next few weeks, the ACTU will be recruiting the next generation of Organising Works trainees. These organisers will be employed in conjunction with sponsoring unions, learning the skills and knowledge to inspire and activate workers across this country.

The Organising Works program is a traineeship, and you will learn from the best in our movement. We ask only that you have a passion to fight injustice.

Key Responsibilities

As an Organising Works trainee based in a union, you will be deployed across a range of situations, and you can expect the role to include:

  • Talking with workers as they turn up to work
  • Accompanying union representatives on workplace visits to build membership and activity
  • Organising conversations and meetings outside of the workplace – like visits at home.
  • Identifying and developing workplace activists
  • Supporting workplace activists to lead in taking collective actions
  • Working and building relationships across the union movement
  • Engaging and building community relationships
  • Building collective workplace meetings
  • Supporting workplace activists run effective inductions for new starters.
You will be employed by the sponsoring union, but your development will be delivered by the team at the Organising Works Unit, led by the ACTU.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Build worker power by recruiting new members into the union
  • Organise workers to develop a public narrative
  • Support workplace activists to increase their capacities and confidence
  • Work with health and safety reps to build strong union cultures around health and safety
  • Work effectively and positively within a team
  • Build strong and effective relationships with other unions, allies, and community organisations
  • Be a champion of diversity and inclusion and educating others to our values
  • Provide organising support to political projects or campaigns as and when needed.
Desirable experience:

  • Participation in forms of collective action
  • Able to move other people through conversations to action
  • Familiarity with Office 365
  • Familiarity with social media platforms and using such platforms to positively engage and influence others
  • Organising against division.
Personal qualities:

  • Can thrive when working on your own
  • Has levels of initiative that can create ideas and activity to organise workers
  • Deliver on the ground leadership
  • Ability to coach and mentor others including future workplace activists
  • Ability to think strategically, tactically and to have the right attitude to learn the difference
  • Willingness to learn
  • Willingness to work out of hours and in own time
  • Ability to plan, execute plans, reflect on activity and take responsibility for driving plans
  • Enthusiasm to support learning of others
  • Commitment to combating racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, ableism and to fight for unity and solidarity
  • Commitment to build class-based solidarity and resistance
  • Ability to evaluate conflicting time priorities and prioritise the activity for growth and organising.
For more information:


You can apply for the role of Organising Works Trainee through a range of methods, including:

  • A written document
  • Audio recording
  • Video recording.
To advance your application

Follow the link below, enter your details and upload your response to the selection criteria.

Next steps and selection process:

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Provide information that sets out your response to the question “Describe a time when you have moved others to take action.”
  3. If you are not short listed for the interview stage, we will contact you and let you know and provide feedback
  4. If you are successful in making it through to the first round of interviews, we will contact you to let you know the details and process for those interviews
  5. There will be several rounds of interviews.
  6. If you are successful you can expect to start any time on, or after the 11 November, dependent on discussions with the employing union.
For more information contact Jon Clark, 0439 454 128 or

We can’t wait to meet you!

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