Law student Bradley Allmark is the youngest Divisional Equality Forum representative and one of the youngest Tesco Shop Steward Representatives for Usdaw. Bradley explains what the role entails, why he chose to study at Staffordshire University and how this opportunity has given him the ‘drive to work in Employment and Equality Law’.
USDAW Trade Union
I am the youngest Divisional Equality Forum Representative and one of the youngest Tesco Shop Steward Representatives for Usdaw. I am [also] currently studying the LLB (Hons) Law Degree at Staffordshire University.
NW Divisional Equality Forum Representative/ Tesco Shop Steward Representative
Usdaw is determined to promote equality for all sections of society, both at work and in the community.
As a Representative, my job is to take instructions and represent members in investigations, disciplinary meetings and other workplace issues. I have now been doing this for eighteen months, after building a strong reputation as a Rep. I put myself forward for the Equality role in August 2020, where I was elected to sit on the Divisional Equality Forum. My extra duties are to run workshops on issues like disability discrimination, women’s health and tackling racism at work. I will be helping to organise local get-togethers and workplace visits to support and encourage activity among the under-involved groups of members. I will also be supporting local events like Pride. [I feel that] being the youngest Representative is one of my biggest achievements.
The reason why I sit on the forum is because I want to help people who are being discriminated against and empower people to be who they are without the fear of being judged. Usdaw is always supporting its members to find new ways to reach out to these groups of members.
I grew up in Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent where I attended Stoke Sixth Form College to study BTEC Business and BTEC Law. Whilst at college, I got a part time job working in a Tesco Extra to help me pay for driving lessons and start saving money for university. I have always had an interest in Law and, from leaving high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Law.
I went around different universities but I wanted to remain local due to personal circumstances at home, so I chose to study at Staffordshire University. During my Open Day, I had a 1-1 tour with one of the lecturers, Louis Martin, and I had a really positive experience.
I liked the fact that the university had a more practical approach to education, and it was one of the top for employability. During my time, I did practical exercises like mooting and giving legal advice with the Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SUALC).
However, I really struggled settling into the degree and my first year at the university I even contemplated leaving and changing courses. My lecturers on the other hand did not want me to leave and believed in me, so they supported me the best way they could.
During my second year at university, one of the Usdaw Reps at Tesco, where I worked, had a conversation with me and liked what I was doing in my law degree. [She] thought that I would be a great asset to the team, so she helped me to secure a role as a Tesco Trade Union Representative with Usdaw.
Part way through my training, we went into the coronavirus pandemic pushing everything online. However, the opportunities that arose from the pandemic gave me the practical experience I needed to progress. This increased my confidence massively and gave me the motivation and determination to continue the degree, especially under strained circumstances. I am now looking at graduating with a first class Hons.
Working with the union has given me the passion and drive to work in Employment and Equality Law. My next step is to study the LLM LPC at the University of Law in Birmingham, which I am really excited to study. I am also looking forward to developing my role as a Trade Union Representative and the opportunities and experience that this may bring.