The authority that an employer has over an apprentice means that apprentices and trainees, particularly young people, can be at risk.
The VRQA has enhanced the existing employer approval process to strengthen protections for apprentices and trainees in Victoria. These changes do not place any greater burden on employers, apprentices and trainees.
From 1 January 2015, new employers seeking to register a training contract at an Australian Apprenticeship Centre will be asked to make declarations about their background, including relevant indictable offences and any findings or convictions in relation to workplace safety, pay and conditions.
Employers will have the option of providing this information by filling out and signing a (non-statutory) employer declaration form, or a statutory declaration.
The VRQA will work with BUSY At Work to undertake regulatory field services visits to a sample of employers to verify the information provided as part of the employer’s declaration. Employers who choose to provide this information via a statutory declaration will not be visited.
Under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 the VRQA must have regard to whether employers and any supervisors of apprentices and trainees are fit and proper persons.
The VRQA has worked closely with industry and government stakeholders in developing the strengthened employer approval process.
For further information, contact Chris Ingham Executive Manager Apprenticeships and Traineeships, VRQA on (03) 9032 1518 or firstname.lastname@example.org.