Page 3890 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 September 2018

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ACT apprentices and young workers work health and safety campaign 2018-19 which, in addition to raising awareness, includes compliance audits to cover supervision, training and general work health and safety awareness, such as injury reporting, across six key industries. A final report will be completed at the end of the program, which will highlight the current level of compliance, where improvements can be made and next steps.

Skills Canberra has also been undertaking activities to improve safety for apprentices and trainees, including the prioritisation of field officer visits for our Australian school-based apprentices; the introduction of data and information sharing arrangements with WorkSafe ACT; the funding of a dedicated WorkSafe ACT inspector for Australian apprentices; and collaborating with WorkSafe ACT to develop guidance for supervisors of Australian apprentices.

Skills Canberra is also planning to implement empowerment training for Australian apprentices. This includes dealing with work stress, starting tough conversations about mental health and ensuring that apprentices are aware that help will always be available.

The ACT government also recognises that it can play a role in addressing insecure work through being a model employer. The government has committed to establishing a task force to consider the use of different types of employment arrangements within the ACT public service, with a view to strengthening policies to promote job security and permanent employment for ACT public sector employees.

The task force will also consider the government’s use of outsourcing. While it may not always be feasible to utilise direct employment relationships for some services, the government is committed to ensuring that industrial and legal mechanisms are in place to protect workers’ rights. These mechanisms will be enhanced through the implementation of the secure local jobs package.

The ACTPS also offers vocational employment programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people with disability. These programs include work experience, flexible training relevant to the position and person, and on-the-job learning and development. Each participant who successfully completes all aspects of their program achieves a permanent position in the ACTPS.

In addition, a number of positions within the ACT public service graduate program each year are designated for people from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background or people with a disability. There are also a range of mechanisms in place to support ACTPS employees, including support networks, individual inclusion support, staff awareness training, coaching and mentoring and individual career development training.

As demonstrated by the activities I have highlighted today, the ACT government has already begun implementing a number of recommendations from the inquiry. We are leading by example as an employer and actively working to support and improve the conditions of vulnerable workers engaged in insecure work in the territory.

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