New campaign focuses on apprentices/trainees
18 May 2015
businesses which employ apprentices and trainees will come under scrutiny as
part of a new national campaign by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Up to 700
businesses in every capital city and selected regional areas have been
earmarked for auditing over the next three months.
Fair Work inspectors
will focus on employers of first-year apprentices in the automotive, electrical
services, manufacturing, butchery and bakery trades.
requests for assistance from apprentices and trainees come from the
construction and hospitality industries, these have been excluded given they
have already been targeted by separate campaigns.
Work Ombudsman (Operations) Michael Campbell says there are almost 400,000
apprentices and trainees working across Australia, according to the most recent
In the 10
months to the end of May last year, 1400 apprentices and trainees – more than
half of them aged under 24 - sought help from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
says the Agency has noted that almost half of apprenticeship contracts in
trades are never completed, with a third of apprentices leaving their employer
because of “poor working conditions, low wages or because they were unhappy
with on-the-job training”.
we receive a consistent stream of requests for assistance from apprentices and
the high drop-out rates, we believe an education and compliance campaign for
employers of apprentices and trainees is warranted,” he said.
objective is to provide advice and assistance to businesses at the earliest
point in the employment relationship to ensure we give the apprentice the best
chance of successfully completing his or her trade.”
inspectors will check that employers understand their obligations with respect
to record-keeping and payslips and monitor payment of minimum hourly rates,
penalty rates, overtime, allowances and loadings.
will also be educated about appropriate payments for off-the-job training for
apprentices, competency-based progression and reimbursement of applicable
hopes the pro-active campaign will help improve compliance and drive
behavioural change where necessary. “Where we find problems, we will endeavour
to identify the cause. This will help to inform our compliance and education
efforts in the future,” he said.
inspectors will work to assist any employers found to have workplace
and employees seeking assistance can visit the website at www.fairwork.gov.au or
contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13
Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO , the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au .
Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at www.fairwork.gov.au/mediareleases.
Tom McPherson, Media Adviser
Mobile: 0439 835 855
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