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Resolving Problems While Working As A Trainee In A Service

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While working as Trainee there may be problems that you may need to resolve. Many workplace problems can be resolved through direct communication between the Director and the trainee.

The following article provides information on problems that may arise, help available to trainees, resolving disputes, transferring your traineeship to another service.

Problems That May Arise

While working as a trainee the following problems may arise:

  • claims that your employer is not fulfilling their obligation to provide on-the-job training and supervision
  • claims that your employer is not fulfilling their obligation to release you for off-the-job training, or to provide support for formal training through the Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
  • claims that your employer is not fulfilling their other responsibilities, such as meeting the conditions of the industrial award or workplace agreement, or providing a workplace that is safe and free of harassment
  • claims that you as the trainee is not making satisfactory progress in developing your skills
  • claims you as the trainee is not making satisfactory progress in your formal training through the RTO
  • claims that you as the trainee is not meeting your obligation to follow the instructions of your employer personal differences between your, your employer or other Educators
  • failure of you and your employer to agree about a request to transfer, suspend, cancel or vary the training contract.

It's important to resolve any issues that may arise, to find a solution and to move forward. The longer an issue is unresolved, the more uncomfortable you will feel to work and learn within the environment.

The following article offers strategies for managing conflicts in the workplace: Handling Conflicts 

Training Services NSW can be contacted for confidential advice about any workplace or training problems. You can request advice or assistance in resolving a dispute. Training Services NSW Training Advisors are trained in mediation and dispute resolution and will talk to both parties to seek a resolution that allows the continuation of the Training Contract. The Training Advisor may visit the workplace or arrange a meeting away from work in an effort to resolve the dispute

Disputes May Be Referred To The Vocational Training Review Panel

  • If a Training Advisor is not able to resolve the dispute, the matter must be referred to the NSW Vocational Training Review Panel (VTRP) for resolution.
  • The Review Panel will convene a hearing at which it will attempt to reach a settlement that is acceptable to all parties.
  • In the event that the dispute cannot be resolved, the VTRP will make a determination that may result in the complaint being dismissed or in variation, suspension or cancellation of the apprenticeship or traineeship.
  • The VTRP also has the power under the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001 to caution or reprimand either you as the trainee or your employer, and to order a party to a training contract to redress the situation as it sees fit.

Changes to Training Arrangements

The training contract can be transferred, suspended, cancelled or varied by mutual agreement between you and your employer.

In the case of a transfer, the written agreement of your employer is also required.

Transfer

  • Subject to approval by Training Services NSW, a training contract can be transferred from your employer to another providing that all parties agree.
  • In most cases, the new employer must also complete a training contract in which they provide additional information required for assessment of the transfer application.
  • The RTO responsible for providing the formal training for your traineeship should be contacted regarding the transfer.
  • The RTO should provide your new employer with a copy of the Training Plan and discuss your progress to date. If the RTO is not in a position to continue to deliver the formal training as a result of the transfer, a new RTO must be selected and a new Training Plan submitted.

Suspension

Your traineeship can be suspended or partially suspended to reduce the working hours, providing that you and your employer agree.  Suspensions may be necessary due to lack of work or the need for either party to take an extended period of time off as a result of injury or illness.

  • A suspension or partial suspension is generally for a period of three months but may be extended or reduced.
  • Training Services NSW must be notified within 14 days of commencement of the suspension period.

You cannot be forced to suspend a Training Contract with your employer. The Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001 stipulates that suspensions will not be approved if undue influence has been exerted on the apprentice/trainee by any party.

Similarly, as a trainee, you cannot simply stop working without the consent of your employer.

There is a seven-day ‘cooling-off’ period during which either you or your employer may elect to change your mind and withdraw consent of the suspension of the training contract. The cooling-off period commences on the day Training Services NSW is notified

If you and your employer does not agree to the proposed suspension, or if consent is withdrawn within the cooling-off period, Training Services NSW must be contacted immediately.

Any request to suspend a training contract should be undertaken in conjunction with your employer’s nominated Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP), as changes may impact on eligibility for incentives from the Australian Government. The request needs to be made in writing and signed by all parties. The ANP will then forward the request to Training Services NSW.

Transfering, Canceling or Suspending your traineeship contract is an absolute last resort and should not be even considered unless it is a severe issue that cannot be resolved by you and your employer.

When working as a trainee it's important to keep notes on any issues that may arise. Keep a record of the time, the date, what happened (factual information without your judgements) such as who was involved, what was said, what happened, the outcome etc. All this information can be used as evidence in the event of problems that may arise in the future.

Here is some information you may find helpful:

Childcare Traineeship Wages and Conditions

Starting A Traineeship In Childcare 

Note: The following information is primarily for NSW. 

R
eference: 
Apprenticeships and Traineeships Full Guide, Training Guide NSW 

Last modified on Thursday, October 22, 2020
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