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  • #969875
    Bungendore Ken
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    • Total posts: 5
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    Dear All

    This is my first time using this forum to get ideas.

    I run a Property Maintenance (home makeover) business and for the past 18 months have had an mature aged apprentice (mid 20’s) who is a refugee to Australia (all above board, he is an Australian citizen). He is currently working on his cert III in Carpentry. His conversational english is good but his ability to write and read english needs some significant work and is putting him at risk of failing his apprenticeship if not addressed immediately.

    He has acheived good conversation english via a Government program of 500 hrs support when he arrived in Aus 4 yrs ago. He is currently recieving 1hr/wk tutoring and 3 hrs/wk class room at the tech school, but this is not enough. The Commonwealth Govt offers an additional 800hrs tutoring for literacy/numeracy skill development. In order to access this program however you need to be in reciept of Centrelink payments.

    I am now faced with the followiwng challange: In order to help him gain his cert III and move through life in Australia I need to sack him from paid work so he can recieve New Start allowance from Centrelink, so he can recieve additional skills required. Later on either I or someone else will need to employee him as an apprentice to continue his cert III course.

    This young man is very keen to make a new start in Aus and wants the assitance to learn to read and write English so to gain a formal qualification.

    To me the system is broken down becuase I need to sack a person in order to go onto the public purse to get some help. So to say the least I am frustrated at potentially loosing a very good worker.

    Location: about half way between Canberra and Goulburn

    Any ideas?

    Cheers

    Ken

    #1041328
    Anonymous
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    Hi Ken,

    Welcome to Flying Solo!

    I don’t know the solution to the problem, but wow – what a ridiculous scenario. Hope someone around here can help you with a more reasonable solution.

    All the best,
    Jayne

    #1041329
    Burgo
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    • Total posts: 2,104
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    Instead of sacking why not discuss the situation with Centrelink first.

    Secondly, you could also help this valuable young man by paying by the way of a bonus on performance for him to achieve his and your goals privately.
    This will help build up trust and loyalty a relationship between an employer and employee that we all wish could happen.

    Discuss everything with this young man and he may even be able to suggest some ideas.

    Goog luck, ‘life wasnt meant to be easy’ but the situation you have now, once resolved could be great.

    #1041330
    bridiej
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,097
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    My sister teaches English as a Foreign Language in Spain, I’ll ask her if there is anything he could be doing himself to help his reading and writing….

    As for all the red tape etc don’t get me started!! lol

    #1041331
    Ellee
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    • Total posts: 28
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    If he’s really keen and is a good worker why not suggest that you split the cost 50/50 with him.

    Good staff are hard to find. I don’t really think you should sack him so Centerlink can pay for what is required.

    By splitting the cost with him you keep a good employee and he keeps a job.

    #1041332
    bridiej
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    • Total posts: 1,097
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    I’ve had this reply from my sister, who is a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Spain, I hope it’s some help….

    Sorry I’ve delayed this so much, I have been hunting around for the best possibilities.

    There are a whole bunc hof free resources on the internet as well as some books if he’d like to invest in some. I can HIGHLY recommend:

    ‘Grammer In Use’ by Raymond Murphy (published by Cambridge) – this book is like a bible and you can refer to it for years, it’s excellent. You can buy it in Australia (and everyewhere else!!). The ‘middle’ level is a navy blue book, the ‘advanced’ level is green. It gives a really good foundation for writing, it’s really easy to use as it’s a self-study book with a CD rom too.

    Some free writing sites are:
    http://www.write-better-english.com
    http://www.say-it-in-english.com
    http://www.english-at-home.com
    http://www.lousywriter.com (sounds encouraging!!!)

    I also found this website with a list of good writing books:
    http://www.macmillanenglish.com/Category.aspx?id=28246

    it includes both reading and writing.

    There are really nice books called ‘graded readers’ which are famous stories simplified (and shortened!!) into smaller bite-sized books with grammar and vocabulary at different levels, depending on the student. The better-at-English the student, the more complicated and wordy the book. These can be found in libraries… or bought:
    http://www.macmillanenglish.com/Category.aspx?id=28250

    If the student wants to skip these and just delve straight into a novel, it’s gonna be long and boring and off-putting. Reading really helps with their grammar and, especially, vocabulary.

    There are lots of language schools about, this one is international:
    http://www.training.ihsydney.com

    #1041333
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Bungendore Ken, post: 50000 wrote:
    Dear All

    This is my first time using this forum to get ideas.

    I run a Property Maintenance (home makeover) business and for the past 18 months have had an mature aged apprentice (mid 20’s) who is a refugee to Australia (all above board, he is an Australian citizen). He is currently working on his cert III in Carpentry. His conversational english is good but his ability to write and read english needs some significant work and is putting him at risk of failing his apprenticeship if not addressed immediately.

    He has acheived good conversation english via a Government program of 500 hrs support when he arrived in Aus 4 yrs ago. He is currently recieving 1hr/wk tutoring and 3 hrs/wk class room at the tech school, but this is not enough. The Commonwealth Govt offers an additional 800hrs tutoring for literacy/numeracy skill development. In order to access this program however you need to be in reciept of Centrelink payments.

    I am now faced with the followiwng challange: In order to help him gain his cert III and move through life in Australia I need to sack him from paid work so he can recieve New Start allowance from Centrelink, so he can recieve additional skills required. Later on either I or someone else will need to employee him as an apprentice to continue his cert III course.

    This young man is very keen to make a new start in Aus and wants the assitance to learn to read and write English so to gain a formal qualification.

    To me the system is broken down becuase I need to sack a person in order to go onto the public purse to get some help. So to say the least I am frustrated at potentially loosing a very good worker.

    Location: about half way between Canberra and Goulburn

    Any ideas?

    Cheers

    Ken

    Im curious to know if the employee was provided to you via a job network provider? or not as a starting factor.

    I dont know what exact conditions job provider become non- responsible for the unemployed or to the businesses they provide a worker to….

    an apprenticeship in general is like a 4 yr contract. so does the job providers task/ commitment end at the same of this contract or at the time of mutual acceptance by you to take on the apprentice at the start?

    if they are supposedly responsible till the end of the apprenticeship or until you deem the worker unacceptable, then maybe talking to them about your situation.

    if their commitment to the job seeker and yourself ends, when you take them on as an apprentice, I would seek out the business section of centerlink http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/businesses/index.htm and see what they might be able to offer up as a fix to your situation.

    it may also be worth looking into the local community center in your/ his area, as some usually provide reading/ writing classes to adults and maybe cheaper than the profesional services available.

    after exhausting these avenues I would talk to the accountant ( for the actual deduction allowances) and lawyer (for contract arrangements, legalities), about possible arrangements for deductions in terms of further education for employees. Given that you’ve stated reading and writing english is an essential part to his carreer, then you must state the courses as furthering his education. (this of course does depend on if your cash flow can support the payments of the course whether in full or in part, because the benefits of the deductions would only be viewable in the paperwork and only seen in the end of yr results.

    On a more serious , dangerous note,

    consider the implications for sacking if the reasons arent considered valid enough!!

    – reading and writing english ability may not be good enough for a sacking.
    – you may under fair work conditions be required to provide all safety manuals, procedures in his/her native tongue.
    – under equal opportunity consider the possibilities of discrimination by
    – race (hightens the ethical and moral implications)
    – culture

    then the bad publicity this could lead too:
    – lost business
    – public outcry
    – lawsuits.

    dont know if this helps, but hopefully gives you some ideas rather than sacking this good worker…

    #1041334
    Eca IT business systems
    Member
    • Total posts: 17
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    http://www.literacyline.edu.au/services.html
    mentions “Commonwealth-funded English as a second language programs for migrants” couldn’t that cover refugee also? & “Literacy in the workplace” perhaps a tax deductible expense?

    #1041335
    Bungendore Ken
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
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    ::

    Thank you, wil follow up.

    Ken

    bridiej, post: 50754 wrote:
    I’ve had this reply from my sister, who is a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Spain, I hope it’s some help….

    Sorry I’ve delayed this so much, I have been hunting around for the best possibilities.

    There are a whole bunc hof free resources on the internet as well as some books if he’d like to invest in some. I can HIGHLY recommend:

    ‘Grammer In Use’ by Raymond Murphy (published by Cambridge) – this book is like a bible and you can refer to it for years, it’s excellent. You can buy it in Australia (and everyewhere else!!). The ‘middle’ level is a navy blue book, the ‘advanced’ level is green. It gives a really good foundation for writing, it’s really easy to use as it’s a self-study book with a CD rom too.

    Some free writing sites are:
    http://www.write-better-english.com
    http://www.say-it-in-english.com
    http://www.english-at-home.com
    http://www.lousywriter.com (sounds encouraging!!!)

    I also found this website with a list of good writing books:
    http://www.macmillanenglish.com/Category.aspx?id=28246

    it includes both reading and writing.

    There are really nice books called ‘graded readers’ which are famous stories simplified (and shortened!!) into smaller bite-sized books with grammar and vocabulary at different levels, depending on the student. The better-at-English the student, the more complicated and wordy the book. These can be found in libraries… or bought:
    http://www.macmillanenglish.com/Category.aspx?id=28250

    If the student wants to skip these and just delve straight into a novel, it’s gonna be long and boring and off-putting. Reading really helps with their grammar and, especially, vocabulary.

    There are lots of language schools about, this one is international:
    http://www.training.ihsydney.com

    #1041336
    Bungendore Ken
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Good questions raised about who provided the apprentice. Many people could have seriously embarassing questions to answer if this was pursued in the line of your comments. however, i have spent so much time and energy on this I need to move forward.

    The employee has effectivley resigned (clearly his choice) from employment to pursue his literacy skills. I have also stated that I am more than happy to have him return to my employment, this has been made clear to Centrelink and NSW Education (overseeing apprentices). The training provider has also stated clearly they are happy for him to return.

    As for intrpretation of materials: I spoke to NSW Workcover to see what aids they may have, to there credit they have many along the safety issues. However, they noted the tin of worms this scenario creates and that I am dammed if I do and Dammed if I do not, situation.

    Cheers and thanks again.

    cretsiah, post: 50971 wrote:
    Im curious to know if the employee was provided to you via a job network provider? or not as a starting factor.

    I dont know what exact conditions job provider become non- responsible for the unemployed or to the businesses they provide a worker to….

    an apprenticeship in general is like a 4 yr contract. so does the job providers task/ commitment end at the same of this contract or at the time of mutual acceptance by you to take on the apprentice at the start?

    if they are supposedly responsible till the end of the apprenticeship or until you deem the worker unacceptable, then maybe talking to them about your situation.

    if their commitment to the job seeker and yourself ends, when you take them on as an apprentice, I would seek out the business section of centerlink http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/businesses/index.htm and see what they might be able to offer up as a fix to your situation.

    it may also be worth looking into the local community center in your/ his area, as some usually provide reading/ writing classes to adults and maybe cheaper than the profesional services available.

    after exhausting these avenues I would talk to the accountant ( for the actual deduction allowances) and lawyer (for contract arrangements, legalities), about possible arrangements for deductions in terms of further education for employees. Given that you’ve stated reading and writing english is an essential part to his carreer, then you must state the courses as furthering his education. (this of course does depend on if your cash flow can support the payments of the course whether in full or in part, because the benefits of the deductions would only be viewable in the paperwork and only seen in the end of yr results.

    On a more serious , dangerous note,

    consider the implications for sacking if the reasons arent considered valid enough!!

    – reading and writing english ability may not be good enough for a sacking.
    – you may under fair work conditions be required to provide all safety manuals, procedures in his/her native tongue.
    – under equal opportunity consider the possibilities of discrimination by
    – race (hightens the ethical and moral implications)
    – culture

    then the bad publicity this could lead too:
    – lost business
    – public outcry
    – lawsuits.

    dont know if this helps, but hopefully gives you some ideas rather than sacking this good worker…

    #1041337
    Bungendore Ken
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thank you I have called them and left a message.

    Eca IT business systems, post: 51114 wrote:
    http://www.literacyline.edu.au/services.html
    mentions “Commonwealth-funded English as a second language programs for migrants” couldn’t that cover refugee also? & “Literacy in the workplace” perhaps a tax deductible expense?
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