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Protecting apprentices from dodgy trainers and employers

2 March 2018

The Turnbull Government has a well-established track record of protecting the rights of apprentices, trainees and students engaged in vocational education and training.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews said claims by Labor Senator Doug Cameron about apprentices not being protected were beyond ridiculous given the reputational damage Labor inflicted on VET.

“Thousands of vulnerable Australians were left with a debt but no job as a result of Labor’s VET FEE HELP disaster and Labor’s decision to slash employer incentives has seen hundreds of thousands of apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities disappear,” Assistant Minister Andrews said.

“Our overhaul of the system and introduction of VET Student Loans has removed dodgy training providers so students can now be confident they’re learning the right skills to get a good job.

“Senator Cameron has cited the case of a young man whose employer never registered his apprenticeship with the Victorian state authority, which is responsible for ensuring the workplace welfare of apprentices.

“The employer has now been hit with a substantial fine and ordered to pay the young employee thousands of dollars in additional wages,” Assistant Minister said.

“The Coalition is building a stronger vocational education and apprenticeships system and that includes protecting those involved in learning.

“We established Australian Apprenticeship Support Network and the Turnbull Government also recently launched the Industry Specialist Mentoring that provides intensive support and guidance to apprentices with advice on all facets of training, including dealing with employers.

“We have a clear plan to significantly increase apprenticeships and traineeships through our Skilling Australians Fund and it’s time for Senator Cameron to act in the best interests of students and apprentices rather than engage in misleading political games,” Assistant Minister Andrews said.