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To: Minister of Education, Jason Clare and Minister of Social Services, Amanda Rishworth

End Unpaid Placements for Community Services Degrees!

All work should be paid. It is time students are paid for compulsory Community Services Degree placements.

We believe all work in the industry should be paid, including for students completing 1,000 hours of compulsory work placements.

All work placements for study should be paid so that the student workers receive the same employment standards as all other workers. Apprentices are paid for their work. So why not student social workers?

We are calling on the Federal Government to:
• fund organisations that take students on through placements, to pay them for their work at the minimum industry rate;
• create employment relationships between organisations and students to create better pathways to careers in the sector; and
• ensure education providers and placement agencies pay social work at the minimum industry rate

Why is this important?

Work placements or internships are currently a requirement for many degrees in Australia.

These placements provide essential on-the-job learning, however, students studying Community Services Degrees are required to work excessive hours unpaid. Students studying social work are required to complete 1,000 hours of unpaid placements. That’s almost a third of a year, working full-time.

These hours are compulsory and yet this work is not paid.

This situation is causing dropout rates to increase, with over 1 in 5 studying a Community Service degree withdrawing from study due to financial stress.

Many community services workers undertake social work or other degrees to boost their qualifications, but right now they are being forced to choose between doing unpaid work placements or having enough money to pay the bills.

No one should have to choose between feeding their families or not to complete their studies.

Additionally, both students and employers would benefit by building an employment relationship to help with career opportunities down the track.

It’s time to end unpaid placements and ensure students are supported throughout their education and into their careers.


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2023-12-05 12:11:42 +1100

5,000 signatures reached

2023-10-04 23:02:08 +1100

1,000 signatures reached

2023-10-04 19:46:42 +1100

500 signatures reached

2023-10-04 19:01:52 +1100

100 signatures reached

2023-10-04 18:58:34 +1100

50 signatures reached

2023-10-04 18:56:21 +1100

25 signatures reached

2023-10-04 18:53:45 +1100

10 signatures reached