VRQA acts to protect quality of traineeship system

Car dealership banned from signing up trainees

Following an investigation by the VRQA, a car dealership is banned from signing up trainees in the Certificate III in Competitive Systems and Practices qualification.

The investigation was part of a regulatory campaign targeting new training contracts under the Australian Government's Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy scheme.

History shows that incentives and wage subsidies sometimes lead a small number of employers to hire apprentices and trainees for the wrong reasons. In these cases, employers often do not provide their apprentice or trainee with suitable work, training or supervision to meet the requirements of their qualification. The VRQA has the power to investigate and stop employers who behave this way.

The supervision and training arrangements of 43 trainees at the car dealership were investigated. VRQA found that the trainees' work duties did not match the qualification's skills requirements. The qualification is for organisational managers responsible for analysing current operational practices and implementing improvement strategies. The car dealership signed up receptionists, courtesy drivers and sales personnel.

While 43 workers at the dealership had their traineeship cancelled, this does not impact their employment, which continues.

VRQA authorised officers regularly contact and monitor apprentices, trainees and their workplaces. The VRQA has the authority to cancel training contracts, and place restrictions on an employer's ability to hire and train apprentices and trainees. In some instances, employers may be required to pay back some or all of the money they received from the State or Commonwealth governments.

Any apprentice or trainee with concerns about the work tasks set by their employer, supervision arrangements, or workplace facilities  and equipment can contact the VRQA on: