APPRENTICES RIPPED OFF UNDER MINISTER CASH’S WATCH

19 May 2017

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash must act on the repeated warnings that apprentices are being ripped off. Minister Cash must fix the problem of apprentice exploitation and abandon plans for the Prepare Trial Hire (PaTH) program.

APPRENTICES RIPPED OFF UNDER MINISTER CASH’S WATCH

 

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash must act on the repeated warnings that apprentices are being ripped off. Minister Cash must fix the problem of apprentice exploitation and abandon plans for the Prepare Trial Hire (PaTH) program.

 

Minister Cash sits idly by while young Australians are being exploited under her watch.

 

Another example of apprentice exploitation came to light with Fair Work Inspectors finding a young worker had been underpaid a total of $40,106 when he was employed at Bendigo Smartplumb between 2014 and 2016. This is just another example of systemic exploitation of Australian apprentices.

 
In a previous report covering the construction industry in the period 2014 – 15 the Fair Work Ombudsman audited 194 businesses employing apprentices. 52 businesses (27 percent) were underpaying their apprentices. Arising from this report Minister Cash failed to take decisive steps to protect apprentices.

 

The most recent audit by the Fair Work Ombudsman found that 32 per cent of the audited businesses were not paying their apprentices correctly. Compliance rates in the automotive and hair and beauty sectors were a dismal 45 per cent. Electrical services scored only 50 per cent compliance, while manufacturing and retail were not much better with a 59 percent and 60 percent compliance rate respectively.

 

Minister Cash needs to do much more to protect the rights of apprentices than rely on audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The latest campaign audited the entitlements of 2266 apprentices – leaving a further 276,000 apprentices and trainees unchecked and vulnerable to exploitation.

 

If the Minister cannot deliver better protection to apprentices and trainees she cannot be trusted to protect the rights of young people under the Turnbull government’s Prepare Trial Hire (PaTH) program.

 

This Minister is obsessed with her ideological attacks on the trade union movement while ignoring the plight of vulnerable apprentices.

 

 

WEDNESDAY, 17 MAY 2017