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A Fairer Progression System

Apprentices and the AMWU - delivering a fairer apprenticeship progression system

In March 2014 the AMWU’s submission to the Fair Work Commission was adopted and a fairer and more accessible competency based wage progression system was introduced for Australian apprentices covered by the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010 and the Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010. The union’s proposal for a more equitable system was victorious despite opposition from the Australian Industry Group (AIG).

Under the new model if an apprentice is deemed as competent (having achieved all of the competencies for their relevant apprenticeship stage as determined by their Registered Training Organisation - RTO) the apprentice must progress to the next stage and be paid at the higher rate of that next stage. Furthermore, if the employer believes the apprentice is not yet competent they must now lodge a formal objection within 21 days of the apprentice’s request outlining why they do not think the apprentice has yet met the competencies in the training plan.

This reform ensures that apprentices can progress through the stages of their apprenticeship as soon as they are competent and will therefore receive the higher rates of pay in recognition of this effort and learning. Furthermore, no longer can apprentices be refused progression without their employer providing a detailed written explanation as to which areas they have not yet demonstrated competency in.

If you have any questions about applying for competency based wage progression in your apprenticeship call the AMWU today on 1300 732 698 or email