Apprentices are Australia's future

Apprentices are the lifeblood of any trade and any union. From rolling out the National Broadband Network, to building our electricity grid of tomorrow, to safely wiring our homes, electrical apprentices are at the heart of the solution to many of the big challenges facing our country.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) works hard to get apprentices into the industry and to ensure that they are looked after and not ripped off. Apprentices are employees and have the same rights as other workers - but unfortunately, apprentices are particularly vulnerable and often expolited, so it's important that you know your rights.

Whether you are already an apprentice or still condsidering an apprenticeship, use the ETU Apprentice Handbook to understand your rights and responsibilities and learn a few tips of the trade along the way. By working together, we can protect your rights at work and ensure that you experience the rewarding career you deserve.

How to use this handbook

This Handbook will help you get your head around the basic information you need to know as an apprentice. Just click through to the relevent section outlined in the Contents below, and you'll find what you need set out in simple guidelines, including 30 videos.

Explore the kinds of work offered by the industry in Section 1 - Career Choices. The prerequisites for starting an apprenticeship, and pathways into other industries follow in Section 2 - Helping You Decide. What to expect when you're starting an apprenticeship - including your financial entitlements, and rights and obligations under training contracts - is covered in Section 3 - Starting Out. There are also some great tips on profiling (the record of your on-the-job experience), which is an essential part of your training.

Your safety at work is our number one concern - and that's why we have devoted a whole chapter to it, including information about appropriate apprentice supervision and WorkSafe. How to go about finding work, the importance of further training, and how your Union benefits our members, are also here at your fingertips.

Handbook Contents

Section 1 - Career Choices

  • Rail
  • Contracting
  • Power
  • Manufacturing

Section 2 - Helping You Decide

  • Job prospects
  • Prerequisites
  • Pathways
  • Financial rewards
  • Types of employment
  • Adult-age apprentices

Section 3 - Starting Out

  • Expectations
  • Allowances
  • Entitlements
  • Industry funds
  • Wages $ awards
  • Rights & obligations
  • Profiling

Section 4 - Safety at Work

  • OH&S
  • Supervision guidelines
  • Worksafe

Section 5 - Finishing Up

  • Finding work
  • Further training

Section 6 - Your Union

  • Union benefits
  • Personal issues
  • Legal issues
  • The ETU team

Section 7 - Useful Contacts

  • Industry bodies
  • ETU Victoria

Section 8 - Current Wage Rates