New Apprenticeships Taskforce created in Victoria to boost safety, fairness

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The Victorian government has established a new taskforce that would boost fairness and safety for apprentices across the state’s industries. 

The Apprenticeships Taskforce will inform decisions from the state government to improve safety in workplaces across the state and ensure more apprenticeships and trainees have a successful start to their careers and that the industry continues to support the apprenticeships and traineeship system. 

“Apprentices and trainees are the future of Victoria’s workforce, and we’re ensuring that their training is in a safer and supportive environment that sets them up to succeed,” said Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

Apprenticeships Victoria will oversee the $1.5 million Taskforce, which will address regulatory arrangement, incident responses, employer screening processes, complaint reporting, and improved accountability. 

Minister Tierney and Minister for Industry Relations Tim Pallas yesterday unveiled the first members of the new representative body. 

The taskforce will be led by Former General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Sharan Burrow. She served as president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions for a decade before taking over her role at ITUC. 

Employee representatives invited include Victorian Trades Hall Council, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, Electrical Trades Union, Young Workers Centre, Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union, United Workers Union and Australian Workers Union.

They will also be joined by Apprenticeship Employment Network, Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce, Master Builders Association of Victoria, Master Plumbers, National Electrical and Communication Association, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Australian Industry Group.

“The Taskforce will give Victorian apprentices a seat at the table to make sure their voices are heard and needs are addressed to create a safer workforce,” Burrow said. 

More than 85,000 Victorians are undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship across the state, with 66 per cent currently working in a trade. 

“This Taskforce is a win for employers, apprentices and for fairness – we’re making sure safety and equality are at the heart of this workforce,” said Minister Pallas.