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To: Scott Morrison

Stop the exploitation of Apprentices and Trainees

140,000 apprenticeships have been lost nationally at the hands of the Federal Liberal Government.

That’s 140,000 workers whose long term careers have been crushed or severely impacted.

The Federal Budget’s plan to subsidise the wages of 100,000 apprentices and trainees over the next 12 months will no doubt provide ample hi-vis photo opportunities for Government Ministers. But it’s a short-term strategy to a problem that requires long-term action, and it doesn’t solve the workplace exploitation that apprentices have faced from dodgy employers long before the pandemic.

The Government must audit all companies receiving the wage subsidy to ensure apprentices and trainees are safe at work, supervised, receive their legal minimum entitlements and are not unfairly dismissed when the 1 year wage subsidy comes to an end.

Without proper regulation of companies that receive the wage subsidy, it will turn into government funded exploitation.

If the Federal Liberal government truly wants young people to take up apprenticeships and traineeships, workers must be confident that companies will not exploit them.

Why is this important?

I was an electrical apprentice and I suffered at the hands of dodgy bosses. I have been underpaid, threatened, bullied daily and not trained or supervised correctly.

I wish that my experience was just a once off but it happens to many apprentices and trainees across all industries. Since March, the number of apprentices and trainees that have contacted the Young Workers Centre to lodge a complaint or seek advice has doubled, and now accounts for nearly 50% of our legal centre enquiries.

Completion rates are already low enough - 50% of workers drop out of their apprenticeships before they finish their training and they overwhelmingly cite workplace abuse as the reason why.

We can’t afford dodgy employers who want to access even cheaper labour for a 1 year period to get away with hiring and abusing apprentices and trainees with no intention of supporting or employing them for the long term.

Sign and share this petition so that the apprenticeship and traineeship wage subsidy doesn’t turn into government funded exploitation.

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Reasons for signing

  • Exploitation by the Liberal Party is by design. Neoliberal economics is permanent class warfare.

Updates

2020-10-07 17:50:30 +1100

1,000 signatures reached

2020-10-07 12:28:49 +1100

500 signatures reached