Jobseekers misled by ‘introductory’ construction industry courses

Tuesday, 16 June, 2020 - 09:00
Industry news
National News

Jobseekers wanting to work in the WA construction industry may be misled by a company offering introductory online safety training courses, according to WorkSafe WA.

It is a requirement for people working on a construction site in Australia to have what is known as a “white card” which indicates they have undertaken and passed a safety induction course delivered by a registered training provider.

Consumer Protection and WorkSafe in WA are investigating a training provider that is offering an “introductory” course for a reduced fee of about one-third of the usual cost of the full course.

Participants are given a “certificate of attendance” instead of a “certificate of attainment” and believe they are qualified to go on site.

Holders of these certificates are turning up at construction sites and being turned away, according to Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping.

“There is some fine print at the bottom of the company’s website which states that the holders of these introductory certificates will need to complete an accredited unit of competency in order to obtain the physical white card before qualifying to go onto a construction site,” Chopping said.

“But the general impression projected by their website is that job seekers will get a cheap course that will qualify them to take up a position on a construction site.

“We are carrying out an investigation into this company but warn people that they must complete the full induction course with a registered training provider, otherwise their white card qualification is not valid and they are wasting their money.”

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Darren Kavanagh urges construction site supervisors to check white cards carefully.

“Being aware that there are some certificates being issued by an unregistered provider, it is imperative that every white card being presented on construction sites be checked thoroughly before anyone is allowed to start work,” Kavanagh said.

“Maintaining a high standard of safety is crucial for the construction industry and it’s a major concern that people who have not passed the full induction course may end up working on site.

“We urge extra vigilance when inspecting the white cards of prospective workers and supervisors should report any cards being presented that may be issued by an unregistered provider.”

A search for registered training providers can be carried out on the Federal Government’s MySkills website.

Unregistered businesses offering training courses and certificates can be reported to the Australian Skills Quality Authority.