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TAFE Visits

The AMWU is running the “Our Jobs. Our Future” campaign to inform apprentices of the recent changes to their awards. Over the past few months we’ve been speaking with manufacturing apprentices in TAFEs across NSW. In the coming months we will be conducting similar visits at TAFEs across the country. Over July and August we will be visiting Western Australian TAFEs, Tasmanian TAFEs and South Australian TAFEs.

After the huge wins delivered by the AMWU and the ACTU in the Fair Work Commission’s 2012 Modern Award Review things are looking up for Australian apprentices.

The AMWU won significant pay rises of between 4-12% per week for apprentices commencing their apprenticeship on, or after, 1 January 2014.

We also won employer reimbursements for ‘in-transit’ travel costs required to attend bloc release TAFE training, employer reimbursements for TAFE textbooks and the introduction of a fairer and more accessible competency based wage progression system.
This is why myself and organisers from the NSW AMWU Branch have been visiting TAFEs to speak with apprentices about their new entitlements and pay increases.

With some apprentices having to pay nearly half of their weekly income on travel costs alone, we’re finding that the work of the union comes as much-needed relief.

We have been outlining the minimum award rates of pay to apprentices as many have been unsure as to their legal entitlements.

With few other avenues in which to obtain this information the campaign is helping to empower younger workers entering the manufacturing industry and to equip them with the skills and resources required to fight for their rights. Every apprentice, and every worker, has the right to know their rights.

With little to no previous interaction with trade unions we’re introducing these younger workers to the power of collective action. After finding out about the invaluable help the union provides thousands of workers, many of the apprentices we have spoken to have decided to join the union.

Apprentices are often exploited in the workplace as employers often assume they are unaware of their rights, and sadly this is too often confirmed on our visits.

Many students have reported being underpaid by several dollars an hour, not paid for public holidays when on permanent full-time contracts or being refused competency-based progression.

The AMWU’s campaign is doing crucial work in ensuring that all apprentices are aware of the recent award changes that have significantly improved their wages and conditions and that they have the skills and support required to ensure they’re treated with dignity and respect at work.

We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to our TAFE visits. The apprentices we have spoken to come out of our presentations more informed about their rights and keen to get involved with the union after seeing first hand the wins it delivers.

REQUEST A TAFE VISIT: Call our Member Helpdesk and speak to someone in your area and they'll do the rest. 1300 732 698