Friday, July 2nd, 2010
From today, NSW businesses will again have the flexibility to continue to choose between two types of apprenticeships in the electrical industry thanks to a successful application by the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) to Fair Work Australia.

NECA, the peak industry body for electrical contractors, made an application to Fair Work Australia to vary the new modern Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award to ensure that trainee apprenticeships remained an option for NSW electrical businesses and apprentices.

Fair Work Australia delivered its decision yesterday (30 June 2010).

Chairman of NECA’s Industrial Relations Advisory Group, Mr Philip Green, said the decision by Fair Work Australia was sensible and it provides flexibility for NSW businesses and apprentices to choose the apprenticeship format that best suits their needs.

“The successful application to alter the new modern electrical award so it covered both types of apprenticeships is a win for small businesses in our industry,” Mr Green said.

“Before Fair Work Australia’s decision yesterday, only indentured apprenticeships were covered by the new modern award. This meant that businesses hands were tied and obviously this does not encourage new training opportunities.

“Trainee apprenticeships have been part of the NSW training system for 30 years but unfortunately they were not included in the new modern award .Fair Work’s decision restores them, which is extremely important given that up to 10% of electrical apprentices in NSW have been engaged as trainee apprentices. Now businesses can assess which type of electrical apprenticeship is best for them and the apprentice, and continue training to meet the future needs of the industry.”

The award modernisation process initiated by the federal government is supported by NECA and the industry. Yesterday’s decision by Fair Work Australia means the modern Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award now provides business the flexibility needed to continue training apprentices.

“I’m glad that businesses in our industry now have the option as they did in the past to choose which type of apprenticeship to support,” Mr Green said.

“Having flexibility will encourage businesses to take on apprentices and this is a huge positive in a market that suffers from skill shortages.”

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National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA)

NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide. For further information go to
Dominic Feenan
P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457767328


NECA,award modernisation,electrical apprenticeship



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