Edition 43

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Employers lose ability to employ apprentices in the automotive industry

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An investigation into apprenticeships in the automotive industry has been conducted by the VRQA after common issues across a number of employers were identified.

The VRQA investigated 115 employers employing 160 automotive apprentices.
The supervision and training arrangements for the apprentices were checked. Issues uncovered by the investigation included:

  • inappropriate supervision of apprentices e.g. supervisors were not appropriately experienced or qualified, or apprentices were left on their own some or all of the time
  • inappropriate work tasks or facilities, meaning that apprentices don’t gain the knowledge and skills required to work in the automotive industry
  • limited evidence of training, including a lack of contact with the registered training organisation
  • apprentices not being released to attend formal training, or not being paid to attend training.

As a result of the investigation:

  • 99 training contracts have been cancelled (including 39 voluntary cancellations)
  • 8 employer approvals have been revoked.

Affected apprentices may enter into new training contracts under improved arrangements.

The VRQA has worked with unions, the automotive industry and relevant State and Commonwealth Government agencies in undertaking the campaign.

In 2015 the VRQA is conducting investigations targeting specific qualifications and occupations and will check to make sure that:

  • apprentices are properly supervised
  • the work of apprentices matches the qualification they are enrolled in
  • apprentices are being released/paid to attend training.

Employers can use the Employer Checklist to make sure they are meeting the regulatory requirements for apprenticeships and traineeships.

Further information: