NECA Education and Careers

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Jun 14, 2016

Apprentices speak out if you’re being bullied


While the mentality towards apprentices “rites of passage” has changed considerably over recent years, there is still plenty of work to be done in ensuring apprentices and trainees are protected in the workplace.

This was highlighted this month, with the conviction and fine of a Geelong company owner who actively engaged in physical, verbal and emotional abuse of his apprentice, alongside his colleagues.

Research conducted by the Australian Catholic University in 2013 shows that up to one in three apprentices and trainees are subject to workplace bullying. The research found that the apprentices and trainees encountered a range of bullying, varying from subtle harassment to social isolation and physical attacks. 

“It is particularly difficult for apprentices and trainees to speak out as they are generally young, inexperienced and easily influenced. It’s often hard for them to stand up for themselves against someone in a position of power – such as their supervisor or a more experienced colleague is extremely tough” commented CEO Philip Green.

“Many apprentices fear retribution should they speak out and witnesses to the bullying often do little to stop it. We don’t want to see bullying in any work place. As one of the largest employers of apprentices and trainees we want them to be in a safe and supportive work place”.

“Just because you’re an apprentice or trainee doesn’t mean you have to put up with bullying. Speak out, tell your teacher, family, WorkSafe, union or industry association” stated Philip.

“We work closely with our apprentices and trainees through our Industry Careers Consultants to ensure they have the skills and support networks in place to speak out against bullying. We want apprentices and trainees to speak out against bullying; whether it involves them or not. It’s the only way bullying will stop”.

If you or one of your mates is bullied…SPEAK UP

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