Taking on an apprenticeship can be hard. Often the hours are longer than normal and, of course, the pay is low. Apprentices are forced to scrimp at every turn and a great many have to live with mum and dad.
Part of an apprentice’s training involves TAFE and their qualification depends on them attending classes and passing exams.
So what of rural apprentices and their requirements to travel many, many miles to attend TAFE? Well, those in the Clarence Valley (NSW) should appreciate a recent decree by the Fair Work Commission to reimburse the cost of course fees, textbooks and travel and accommodation costs if they have to travel long distances to attend their respective TAFE.
The entitlement was lobbied for by the ACTU and its President Ged Kearney said the win would help young Australians studying a trade as well as encouraging the uptake of apprenticeships.
“Only 47% of apprentices who started their training in 2009 went on to finish their apprenticeship, we know that low wages and extra training costs are a big factor in this,” Ms Kearney said.
The ACTU first won this entitlement for construction, manufacturing and electrical apprentices in 2013 however the recent decree would extend to hairdressers, beauty therapists and chefs.