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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3202 ..


working and at being in workplaces. They are less likely to be aware that they have work health and safety rights and responsibilities, and what these are. They may not be aware of the risks of a situation or activity, or how to protect themselves and others. They may be less sure or confident about raising issues or safety concerns, or about asking questions.

The nature of the work that young people do also contributes to their experience of work-related illness and injury. They are more likely to be employed in insecure or casual work, or under labour hire, unpaid internship or freelance arrangements. The most common industries where young workers make injury claims are construction, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, health care and social assistance.

The ACT government understands the need for targeted and focused work health and safety programs and initiatives for young workers and their employers. In addition to the work health and safety information and support provided to all employees and employers in the ACT and the compliance activities undertaken by WorkSafe ACT, the government has initiatives that aim to reduce illness and injury for our younger workforce.

The ACT government established the Young Workers Advice Service in 2019 in recognition of the vulnerability of young people in the workforce. The service is provided by UnionsACT under contract to the government. This service was part of a package of initiatives in the 2018-19 budget demonstrating a commitment to improving the rights and safety of Canberra workers, and providing funding over four years.

The core elements of the Young Workers Advice Service are outreach programs and include a contemporary social media presence through which young workers can receive one-on-one trusted information and support about their rights, entitlements and obligations at work. Fact sheets are provided by this service on topics such as bullying and harassment and the use of personal protective equipment, as well as topical and current issues such as COVID-19.

Participation by young people in the activities of the service remains strong. Between January and June this year there was a significant increase in the number of contacts made by young workers and other interested people. The service conducts sessions in schools in partnership with the Education Directorate and attends open days and outreach sessions at ACT university and institute of technology campuses.

As another National Safe Work Month has come to a close at the end of October, we have once again seen a spotlight shone on health and safety for employers and employees across the country. This year, WorkSafe ACT has declared November as Young Workers Month in recognition of the increased risks younger workers face as a result of their vulnerability to work accidents and injury, particularly in high-risk industries.

Through social media stories, information and resources are being rolled out encouraging young workers to stay safe and healthy at work. These are targeted at some of the unique working arrangements for younger workers in part-time jobs after


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