Apprenticeships and traineeships are types of formal training arrangements that combine work with study for a qualification in a trade or occupation.
In Australia, apprentices and trainees are:
93% Mostly young, under 30 years old.
62.5% Mostly male.
23.7% Work in the construction industry.
Over the five years to 2020-21p2, there were 11,490 serious workers’ compensation claims for apprentices and trainees. These are not insignificant injuries. Serious workers’ compensation claims are those that result in 5 or more days lost from work. Over the four year period from 2016-17 to 2020-21, the number of serious claims for apprentices and trainees rose by 41% from 1,684 to 2,375 despite the number of apprentices and trainees in training increasing only 13%. The vast majority of serious claims for apprentices and trainees were for Technicians and trades workers (87.3%, compared to 16.8% for non-apprentices and trainees). Of these, Construction trades workers had the highest number of serious claims, followed by Automotive and engineering trades workers and Electrotechnology and telecommunications trades workers.
Together, the Construction, Manufacturing and Other services industries accounted for more than two-thirds of all serious workers’ compensation claims for apprentices and trainees. Half (49.9%) of these claims were for workers in the Construction industry alone, a much higher proportion of serious workers’ compensation claims than occurred in the Construction industry for the general working population (11.8%).
The data presented in this snapshot will focus on work, health and safety outcomes for apprentices and trainees under 30 in the Construction and Manufacturing industries, as it is in these industries that the majority of work-related injuries or illnesses are occurring.