The November 2022 Ministerial Statement of Expectations (SOE) for the VRQA instructs us to 'significantly improve employers' awareness of their roles, responsibilities and legal and regulatory obligations in taking on and supporting apprentices and trainees.'
In response to the SOE, we established the Strengthening the Regulation of Apprenticeships and Traineeships – Reform Program.
As part of the program, we wrote to employers who had not employed an apprentice or trainee under a training contract since 1 July 2017. We requested information to determine if they should still be approved employers.
The VRQA has now exercised its power under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 to revoke the approval of the approximately 57,000 inactive employers who did not respond to this request, or indicated they no longer wished to employ apprentices or trainees.
On an annual basis we will write to employers who have not employed an apprentice or trainee for at least 5 years to determine if they should still be an approved employer. This will strengthen existing protections for apprentices and trainees, who are among the youngest and most vulnerable workers.
There is no barrier for revoked employers to reapply to employ apprentices and trainees if their circumstances change.
The VRQA supports approved employers to meet their training contract obligations. Further information will be made available as we continue our work to mitigate the risk of harm to Victorian apprentices and trainees.
To find out more, see:
Apprentices or trainees with concerns about their employer can contact us: