The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) have launched the BuildUP campaign, which aims to protect the rights of women apprentices in the building and construction industry.
VRQA are an independent statutory authority that registers all apprentices and trainees, approves their employers, and ensures all parties meet their contractual obligations.
There are more than 74,000 apprentices and trainees in Victoria, across a broad range of industries, with many employed by labour hire providers, and many of them women.
The BuildUP campaign’s objectives include working to ensure that all women building and construction apprentices are treated with respect and receive quality training.
Employers need to provide women apprentices with:
- a safe workplace
- appropriate supervision
- access to the tools and equipment needed to learn the skills for qualifications.
If these aren’t being provided, or you have concerns, VRQA can help. The BuildUP campaign features a special hotline for reporting issues for women apprentices in construction.
If you or someone you know has concerns:
- call the BuildUP hotline on (03) 7022 5888
- email BuildUp at BuildUP@education.vic.gov.au
The hotline is open 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday for the next two months.
You can leave a message at any time and remain anonymous if you wish.
VRQA has more information on the BuildUP campaign, as well as tools and resources to help you promote the campaign through your website or social media.
Legal obligations when hiring apprentices and trainees
All employers, including labour hire providers, must be approved by the VRQA before they can take on apprentices and trainees. All apprentices and trainees working for labour hire providers must also be registered with the VRQA.
This helps to ensure apprentices and trainees receive appropriate pay, conditions, training and support throughout their employment. Labour hire providers must keep detailed records of their apprentices and trainees, including their training plans and progress reports. This information must be made available to the VRQA upon request.
Failure to comply with these regulations may result in consequences for labour hire providers, including fines and even the revocation of their approval to hire apprentices and trainees by the VRQA. It is important to ensure obligations are met in order to keep your business operating legally.
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