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Issues for Apprentices

Apprentices in the metal, printing and vehicle trades are fighting to improve the quality of pay, conditions and training of all apprentices.

TAFE FEES - Some apprentices have to pay their own TAFE fees and some don't. That's unfair. Employers should pay these costs.

TOOL ALLOWANCES - Some bosses take their apprentices' tool allowance. Some group training organisations force apprentices to accept tool kits that don't suit their trade.

LOW WAGES - Most apprentices earn a lot less than other workers and struggle to survive financially.

TRAINING QUALITY - Some apprentices finish their time without learning key competencies in their trade because they are used as cheap labour sweeping up the shop floor instead of being trained. Almost 50% of apprentices drop out before finishing - meaning their time, as well as the money the government provides to employers and training bodies, has been wasted.

JOB SECURITY - Some apprentices are not aware that they can't be sacked without the approval of the government apprenticeship authority. Some just sign the paperwork that releases their employer from their responsibilities because they're told they have to, and some are deliberately signed out early because their boss doesn't want to pay them anymore.