Some key information will be available for local apprentices at an event organised by the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union (AMWU) and the Electrical Trades Union of Australia (ETU).
The Whyalla Apprentice Info Night will be held on Tuesday, November 7, and will aim to dispel myths about apprenticeships and provide people with information about their rights under an apprenticeship.
AMWU National Coordinator of Skills, Training and Apprenticeships Ian Curry said the union would be ready to answer any questions aspiring apprentices may have.
“We would like them to have access to factual information they might not be able to get from other sources. Both of the unions have a lot of experience with the apprenticeship system and know how it works,” he said.
“Apprentices are among the most vulnerable people in society, they’re often isolated from sources of practical help. Currently we have a very low completion rate.
“We survey apprentices and the issues we hear about are usually the same – the main one is the cost of participation, which is exacerbated by low wages.”
Mr Curry said low wages are usually expected during apprenticeships, but additional costs such as travel and mobile phones can add up.
“Sometimes they can’t afford to continue their apprenticeship but they don’t want to raise their voice. That’s why our surveys are important, because they factor into reports about the issue they may face in training,” he said.
“We want to educate them on the way training contracts work, but mainly we’re there to answer their questions. We know the sort of questions which are regularly raised, we’re giving them an opportunity to raise them directly.”
The event will kick off at 6pm at the Roopena Football Club, snacks and refreshments will be provided throughout the night.
Further sessions will be held in Port Augusta at the West Augusta Football Club at 6pm the following evening and in Port Pirie at the Port Football Club at 6pm the next.