Apprentices

Apprentices are the future of the industry and the CFMEU supports high levels of apprentices on building sites.

Apprenticeship Officer 

As part of this commitment the CFMEU employs a full-time apprenticeship officer. Being badly treated or ripped off puts many young workers off finishing or taking up apprenticeships.

Email CFMEU Apprenticeship Officer Liam O'Hearn liamo@vic.cfmeu.asn.au

 

Free CFMEU Membership for Apprentices


There is no charge to be a member in your first year. The joining fee is waived for all apprentices.

Membership costs
1st Year FREE
2nd Year $20/6 months 
3rd Year $30/6 months 
4th Year $40/6 months

 Join online or email Apprenticeship Officer Liam O'Hearn liamo@vic.cfmeu.asn.au to get signed up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can my boss keep me out of trade school?
A:
No. All apprentices must attend all scheduled training. To hinder an apprentice from attending trade school is an offence under the Education and Training Reform Act.

 

Q: Do I have to work on RDOs?
A: No.

 

Q: When do I have to be signed up with the Apprentices Administration Branch?
A: Within 10 days of starting. This applies even if you are on a three month trial. If you are not registered within 10 days you must be paid labourer's wages until such time as you are.
If you have queries about this issue or are unsure what agreement or award you should be paid under, email CFMEU Apprenticeship Officer Liam O'Hearn liamo@vic.cfmeu.asn.au.

 

Q: Can my boss sack me for being a union member?
A: No. Discriminating against a worker for being a union member is an offence under the Fair Work Act.

 

Q: Can I be used as a labourer?
A: You must do work which reflects your training contract. This can involve set up and clean up work but an apprentice cannot be used as a labourer.

 

Q: What happens if I get injured at work?
A: Make sure the injury is recorded by the employer. You are entitled to Workcover if the injury requires you to take time off.

 

Q: What bonus payments are made to apprentices for sticking out their time?
A: None now, thanks to Abbott.

The Tools of Trade bonus payments were junked by the Liberals as part of the full frontal attack on Australia’s working class in the 2014 Budget.

These payments supplemented unrealistic award wages received by most apprentices. Over a third of young people who begin an apprenticeship never finish it and poverty level wages are partly to blame, along with mistreatment by bosses.

 

Q: If my boss hasn't got any work can I be suspended or have my hours reduced?

A: In some circumstances employers can do this but if you are in this situation you need to email CFMEU Apprenticeship Officer Liam O'Hearn liamo@vic.cfmeu.asn.au 

 

Q: What about adult apprentices?
If you are over 21 and a new starter you are entitled to the higher adult apprentice rates.

Apprentices aged over 25 are entitled to a federal government payment of $13,000 over the first two years (paid either to them of their employer, depending on their wage rate).

 

Q: Should I be working unsupervised?
A: No. An apprentice cannot be left alone or unsupervised on a site.
In Victoria, young workers have the highest proportion of work-related injury – 17% higher than the average across all ages (Worksafe).

 

For further information email CFMEU Apprenticeship Officer Liam O'Hearn liamo@vic.cfmeu.asn.au

The Tools of Trade bonus payments were junked by the Liberals as part of the full frontal attack on Australia’s working class in the 2014 Budget.