The role of group training companies in mediating workplace violence for regional women apprentices in male-dominated industries

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only


In regional Australia, Group Training Companies or Organisations (GTCs/GTOs) perform a number of important roles in the training market, including sharing the costs and risks associated with apprenticeship training across a number of employers, addressing regional skill shortages and promoting economic development (Cooney, 2003). They have the capacity to increase access to apprenticeship training in local labour markets and can have an important role in addressing gender imbalances in entry-level training in male-dominated industries.
However, in establishing a contingent employment relationship between the trainee and the host employer, GTOs create an extra layer of regulation and increased complexity into the employment relationship with a separation between formal employment and day-to-day supervision. Given that GTOs hold responsibility for the occupational health and safety (OHS) of the trainees, they face significant challenges in monitoring the incidence of workplace bullying and in protecting women trainees from discrimination and outright acts of violence or aggression in the workplace.
Drawing on a recent study of regional women apprentices in male-dominated industries, this paper explores how GTOs mediate the employment relationship, their roles in promoting greater gender balance, and in educating employers about their anti-discrimination and OHS responsibilities towards apprentices. The paper draws on interviews and focus groups with GTO representatives, employers and apprentices and examines two particular incidents of sexual harassment and assault. The paper finds that although GTOs have an important role in regional labour markets they have had variable results in achieving the level of workplace monitoring needed to meet OHS and anti-discrimination requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2019
EventAIRAANZ Conference: Global work, quality work - RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 12 Feb 201914 Feb 2019
Conference number: 33rd


ConferenceAIRAANZ Conference
Abbreviated titleGender-based violence: Responses, regulation and redress
Internet address

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