Apprentices are the future of our manufacturing industry. The AMWU believes that apprentices should be given great support and training to kick start their career.
What are your rights?
Apprentices are covered by special laws that determine their rights. Apprentice rights are different to ordinary employees, so make sure you seek advice from the AMWU immediately if you are unsure of your rights.
What does the AMWU fight for?
The AMWU stands up for apprentices by lobbying government, industry and bargaining in your workplace. Some of the things we fight for are:
- Tool subsidies
- Direct hire of apprentices
- Pay rates in line with shop rates
- Training costs like TAFE fees, textbooks, travel
- Time allocated during working hours for completion of training records
What are my tool entitlements?
Unfortunately, the Tools For Your Trade program was cut by the Federal government. However, you are still entitled to the tool allowance in your award or agreement.
What support can I get for travel?
Apprentices can apply for a travel and accommodation subsidy provided by the Department of Education and Training if you live more that 100kms from the training.
Getting through your Apprenticeship
For most apprentices, trade progression is based on competency, not time. This means an apprentice may take less than 4 years to finish. Remember, once your apprenticeship is completed, your employer is not obligated to continue your employment unless you are a pre-existing employee. That’s why it’s important to ask your employer what they intend to do after you complete your apprenticeship.
What if I don’t know my rights?
If you are ever unsure of your rights or proper processes, seek advice from the AMWU immediately and do not sign anything until you have.
Know your rights and get more involved in your union by becoming an apprentice delegate. You’ll get training, mentoring and skills to last a lifetime. Most of all you’ll get the opportunity to stand up for apprentices in your workplace.
Ricky Luke is the state branch apprentice coordinator for Queensland and the Northern Territory. You can get in contact with him at email@example.com.