Who Were the Bevin Trainees?

Bevin Trainees


(not to be confused with Bevin Boys)


The Bevin Trainee Scheme was introduced by Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour and National Service during 1941.


The proposal was to bring 2,000 Indians into the United Kingdom for industrial training with a view to developing Indian industry particularly in relation to the war effort.


The first 50 Bevin Trainees came over in May 1941 and were sent to a training centre in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, after which the Trainees were sent to industrial centres in Manchester, Birmingham, Rugby and Glasgow.


The scheme was not without problems as many were fully qualified with technical, workshop and engineering degrees, all receiving elementary training.


Additionally there were further problems involving religious and political activities as well as complains of insufficient clothing, food, and gross interference of personal liberty and intimidation.


Little is known about the above and it should be made clear that there is no connection between the 1941 Bevin Trainees from India who worked in the factories and the 1942-1948 Bevin Boys conscripted in the UK to work in the coal mines.




Source: Warwick H Taylor MBE

Bevin Boy Veteran Badge


Badge can be issued to men who were conscripted directly into the mines, those who opted for mine work in preference to joining the Armed Forces, or those who were in the Armed Forces and volunteered to become miners during the period 1942-1948.

The Bevin Boys scheme was introduced in 1942 by the then Minister for Labour and National Service, Ernest Bevin. The scheme ran between 1942 and 1948 and involved recruiting men to work in coal mines during and immediately following World War 2.


The badge is available to all surviving Bevin Boys and formally recognises their work in the UK coalfields during and immediately after World War II. The badge can only be issued posthumously to the widows of men who died on or after 20 June 2007 and fall into the above category.


The application form for the badge can be found here:

Or you can contact the Department of Energy and climate change who  administer the badge

on 0300 068 5716

Bevin Boy Commemorate Medal

For the relatives of deceased Bevin Boys who do not qualify for the Government Bevin Boy Badge (those Bevin Boys who died before 2007) a Commemorative Medal has been commissioned by the Bevin Boys' Association.


The Bevin Boy Medal is available to Ballotees, Optants, Volunteers and next of kin called up between 1943 and 1948.


The medal is solid silver and can be ordered here:

Bevin Boy Medal


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© Jaye L Swift

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