Queensland apprentices to receive substantial wage increase after Federal Court's landmark ruling

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An employee counts Australian dollar banknotes at an exchange office in downtown Cairo, Egypt, April 19, 2016. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Federal court ruling will see Queensland apprentices getting a substantial wage increase. The court has made a landmark ruling that apprentices must be paid as much as those in other parts of Australia.

Some employers of apprentices reportedly appealed for workers in the Sunshine State to remain the lowest paid in the country. The application was dismissed by the federal court on Monday. Earlier this year, some employer groups lodged an appeal after the Work Commission ruled that trainees must be covered by a modern federal award instead of an old state award.

Electrical Trades Union’s Scott Reichman said the decision meant that trainees must get an immediate pay rise. All trainees may receive a pay rise, not only those working for the businesses that lodged the appeal.

“This ruling means that those apprentices not only get paid the right pay from here on in but are entitled to substantial back pay that should’ve been in place since the 1st of January 2014,” The Courier-Mail reports him as saying. According to Reichman, it was estimated that Queensland apprentices were owed over $100 million.

Recent research shows that apprenticeship dropouts in regional Queensland are impacting local businesses. Youth training group Skillsroad and Apprenticeship Support Australia’s report shows that an employee's departure can cost a business four times that person's salary. ASA managing director Darren Cocks said that young people are likely to prioritise money over career paths they are passionate about.

Australian IT professionals wage growth

Meanwhile, Australian IT professionals are being paid more, with wages having grown above average in the last five years thanks to a high demand for specialist skills. Data from the 2016 Census showed an average wage growth of about 30 percent for IT security specialists and IT managers in comparison with 2011 Census figures.

The average salary for IT security workers, on the other hand, grew by 8 percent between the 2006 and 2011 Census. IT customer support workers now earn on average 14 percent more than in 2011 at about $73,000, and web developers can command an 18 percent higher average salary of $77,584.

ITPA president Robert Hudson has released a statement, saying it is no surprise that specialists in areas likecybersecurityy, IT management and project management reap the rewards as IT’s role in operations becomes critical. Earlier this year, data from jobs site Seek showed that the IT sector was Australia’s fifth highest-paying industry.

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