Trade Union Research Officer


    Research officers are employed by trade unions to assist the work of union representatives through the collection, analysis and distribution of information concerning relevant social, political and economic issues.

    Trade union research officers carry out similar duties to policy officers, informing the activities and strategic development of trade unions by collecting, analysing and circulating information on social, economic and political issues.

    You will carry out research to support three key aims:

    • recognition of unions as bargaining units;
    • recruitment of new members;
    • representation of members on issues that affect working people.



    • attending branch meetings and conferences
    • preparing presentations and policy or briefing papers
    • writing reports, journal articles, press releases, publicity leaflets, speeches etc
    • compiling statistics
    • providing advice to and liaising with union representatives
    • researching political issues
    • lobbying parliament
    • undertaking administrative tasks such as drafting agendas, organizing meetings and taking minutes
    • responding to inquiries from members



    Although this area of work is open to all graduates, your chances may be increased with a degree. A good degree in any subject is acceptable, although a relevant qualification in politics or government, social or public administration, social research, law, business studies, economics or sociology can be advantageous.



    • commitment to the aims and objectives of trade unions, as well as a strong interest in political systems;
    • knowledge of the key issues that affect specific trade unions and social, economic and political issues;
    • excellent research skills – the ability to understand and interpret complex material and produce clear and concise written information and oral briefings;
    • strong communication, interpersonal and networking skills;
    • the ability to analyze statistics and produce tables and graphs;
    • good time management skills to handle projects alongside day-to-day tasks;
    • the ability to use databases, online and web-based systems. Knowledge of specialist research software such as SPSS is an advantage.