Some of the common problems that apprentices and trainees face include:
- not getting the right support from your employer or trainer
- being harassed or discriminated against
- being underpaid
- unsafe workplaces
- your employer being unhappy with your work
- employers wanting to cancel your training contract.
For more information about your rights as an apprentice, check out our Apprentice and trainee rights page.
Who you can talk to about problems you're having
If you're facing problems like the ones above, or other problems not on that list, you don't have to put up with it. There are people you can go to for help.
Your Apprenticeship Support Officer
As an apprentice you should have an Apprenticeship Support Officer (ASO) assigned to you. ASOs provide support and guidance to all apprentices aged 15 to 24 who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.
An ASO will normally contact you directly in the early days of your apprenticeship. If you haven't been contacted, or you're not sure how to get in touch with your ASO, or you can call 1300 311 820.
Australian Apprenticeships is the Federal Government organisation responsible for most apprenticeships and traineeships across Australia. You can call them to ask for support and advice on 13 38 73.
You can also download their AusAppPathways app, which has information about apprentice and trainee rights.
The Fair Work Ombudsman
The Fair Work Ombudsman provides advice about employee rights and wages in Australia, including rights for apprentices and trainees. Check out the Fair Work Ombudsman's Apprentices and Trainees page or call them on 13 13 94 between 8am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays).
JobWatch is an independent organisation providing help and advice to Victorian workers. You can call them on 9662 1933 (metro) or 1800 331 617 (non-metro).
Unions work to improve working conditions for workers across Australia. The Australian Unions Hotline provides free, confidential advice and assistance to all workers, including apprentices and trainees. Call them on 1300 486 466. Or, you can contact the Young Workers Centre to learn more about your rights at work or to get help to resolve workplace issues.
The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
The VRQA regulates training contracts. It can investigate disputes and complaints, including if you’re not getting appropriate training, or if your employer wants to cancel your training contract. Check out the VRQA’s page about dealing with issues and problems, or call the VRQA on 1300 722 603 from 10.00am–4.30pm, Monday–Friday.