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Employers Look For Overseas Workers After Landmark Fair Work Ruling

23 Aug 2013


Immigration News

After a landmark Fair Work Commission ruling, employers in Australia may look for more overseas workers. According to this Commission, apprentices receive tremendous pay rises of as much as $100 a week. The commission ruled that the change was necessary as many apprentices are older than they were in previous generations.

This decision will revolutionize a regime that employs more than 500,000 apprentices and trainees across Australia. Employers were unhappy with the ruling saying this would destroy the apprenticeship system and hurt tens of thousands of businesses. According to one employer group, because of the expense of local apprentices, the decision would lead to more foreign workers being brought in.

As part of the decision by Fair Work Commission, pay rates for a usual first year apprentice who had finished high school will increase to nearly $400 from about $304. Electrical apprentices qualified with Year 12 will get an extra $109 a week, while a 1st year hairdresser will get an extra $145 a week. With this rise, studying in Australia and apprenticing there is a good option for foreign students.

The Fair Work Commission said that apprentice wage rates had not kept with changes to the society and workforce. The present wage structures were set when most apprentices were 14, 15 or 16 years old when they began, said the ruling.

To existing apprentices, the decision will be phased in over 18 months, but, for new apprentices starting in January 2014, it will apply in full. For apprentices who have not finished high school, lower rates will remain. Studying in Australia now presents foreign students with apprentice options that paid individuals fairly.

The ruling said that the increased pay rates could assist in many more apprentices completing their qualification – only about half do so at present.

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