The attacks on our trade usually coincide with LNP governments and their ideological zeal to ‘deregulate’ everything. The latest one is in the guise of our apprenticeship & training system being fit for the 1980’s, but not for a virus ridden world – apparently. It’s not new, but again needs the strength of the ETU membership to fight it like we’ve done countless times in the past.

Our electrical licence system is the envy of most countries and basically exists because there’s only one entry into our trade – an apprenticeship – and one successful exit from an apprenticeship – an electrical licence which allows you to work as a qualified electrician, backed by a legislated regulatory system.

This has held us in good stead for decades but from July 1, under the new National Skills Commission, the Federal Government want to dilute that and allow the training to encompass exit points before the usual 4 year term of apprenticeship training is completed. So someone who’s completed 18 months training will gain a certificate that allows them to do certain works of the trade; 2 years, and another certificate allowing further work; 3 years, and you’re a three quarter sparky.

It will destroy our trade as we know it and lead to only a small portion of true electrical tradespeople supervising and signing-off on work completed by ‘part tradespeople’ - who of course will be paid a fraction of trade rates. As we know behind every Tory idea is wage cuts to workers.

The ETU will fight this like we’ve done countless others and will keep you posted when we need your direct action.

See below link for more info:

Peter Carter

ETU WA State Secretary

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