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Dear Apprentice,

Today our Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, will be putting the union’s case to increase and improve Apprentice wages and conditions at the Fair Work Commission.

The case commencing today will run through to May 2013. The Full Bench will hear arguments from unions, employers and the government about the benefits or negatives of securing a better deal for apprentices.

Last time we contacted you we were interviewing apprentices across the country. We spoke to over 545 apprentices, you told us about your circumstances, including your living expenses, your home life, your skills and training on the job, wages and conditions and your general views and expectations of your apprenticeship.

We found that most of you had similar experiences. You told us that you had considered quitting your apprenticeship, with 35 per cent citing low pay as the reason, 20 per cent complained about a lack of proper mentoring, 19 per cent cited poor quality training and 14 per cent explained the burden of travel to work or TAFE.

We understand the difficulties that apprentices face everyday on the job to make ends meet and progress through your training. We took on what you had to say and made our claim to secure a better deal for you and our nation’s future.

Join us in securing better wages and conditions to attract and retain more apprentices. If Australian manufacturing is not able to attract workers into the skilled trades this will seriously compromise the future of Australian manufacturing.

Our union made the following important claims in its application:

  • To lift wages through increases to award rates of pay of between 3% and 19%

  • To lower the age of an adult apprentice from 21 to 20

  • To secure reimbursement for travel and other related expenses such as excess travelling time, meal, travel and accommodation allowances

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission will hear all submissions including counter claims by employer unions who will argue against wage increases for apprentices. The Australian Industry Group has already stated they don’t believe apprentices should receive travel allowances when travelling for training.

Join us in lobbying the Government and others to deliver a better deal for you.

To find out more about the campaign and how it affects you call us on 1300 732 698 or email

Did you want to get involved? Call us on 1300 732 698 or email

Yours in solidarity,