The following is an abridgement of an article originally published on the NSCA Foundation website.
The South Australian Government has announced a new committee to improve the training, safety and well-being of apprentices and trainees in the state. The committee will be chaired by SA Skills Commissioner Cameron Baker and will include representatives from various organisations and award-winning apprentices and trainees.
The new Apprentice and Trainee Training and Safety Committee will start working in March 2024 and will focus on ensuring additional on-job training and safe workplace initiatives for the state’s apprentices and trainees. It will also include representatives of those who will be impacted by the work - providing an avenue for direct guidance from apprentices and trainees, with the Apprentice of the Year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year and Trainee of the Year all on the committee.
The South Australian Government has already taken steps to improve apprenticeship education and safety in 2023 by educating over 1700 employers on their responsibilities and investigating 36 cases of non-compliance. The main issues involved inadequate supervision (including bullying/harassment), lack of training, either to adequately progress or not letting them attend off-job training, and insufficient scope of work so they can achieve competency across all aspects of the trade.
The state government imposed 18 sanctions on non-compliant employers, ranging from applying conditions, further sanctions and cancellation.
SA Skills Commissioner Cameron Baker said the new committee is an important step in protecting some of the state’s most vulnerable workers.
“Helping apprentices navigate workplaces for the first time and ensuring they are provided with the on-job training they signed up for, and their safety, both physical and psychological, are key priorities for me and the team at the Skills Commission."
SA Govt launches committee for apprentice safety by NSCA Foundation, 30th January, 2024.