The Queensland Government has launched its new ‘Let’s Protect Respect’ campaign, which aims to help train and retain apprentices and trainees, in a safe and inclusive workplace.
The initiative, launched by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, is part of the wider Train and Retain strategy; which aims to strengthen support and drive change for Queensland apprentices and trainees, particularly female apprentices.
The strategy and its initiatives form part of the Queensland Government’s response to a Queensland Training Ombudsman review, released in June 2022, which looked at support available after reports of sexual harassment and bullying of female apprentices and trainees.
Seven of the review’s 12 recommendations related to female apprentices working in male-dominated trades, who continue to face gender-based barriers and lower completion rates.
Let’s Protect Respect highlights the message that discrimination, bullying and harassment have no place in the workplace. It also aims to educate apprentices and trainees about their rights and obligations, and where to turn if they need help.
“Positive action is needed to reinforce behavioural standards and, in doing so, build inclusive skilled workforces where more people want to start and stay,” says the Let’s Protect Respect web page.
“Calling it out and taking action, without causing further harm, is one of the top 10 things workplace leaders can do for gender equality.”
Backed by research, advertisements targeting apprentices, trainees and their employers will be rolled out across social media and digital channels with the message that ‘there’s no place in the workplace for bullying and harassment’ including the need to call it out and act.
Resources for apprentices and trainees are also available, including the Apprenticeships Info website and a helpline that can be reached at 1800 210 210 for information and advice.
The Department has also developed a Let’s Protect Respect promotional kit, including everything from social media content to printable pledge cards, posters and flyers, for employers and workplace leaders to share.