Sailors ‘tricked’ with promises of training

by L&D17 Feb 2016
The Royal Australian Navy is being sued by 220 sailors for allegedly failing to deliver on their promise that they would learn a trade.
 
The sailors joined a class action against the Navy after claiming that they were "tricked" into signing up for four years, when they didn’t receive any training and only had minimal practical experience.
 
Moreover, the sailors were supposed to receive a certificate IV in engineering trade qualification which should have involved receiving on the job education and practical training.
 
The Navy are being sued for breach of contract and negligence, with the case due to come before the NSW Supreme Court on May 20.
 
Jon Henderson, a former sailor, told the ABC that the sailors were left with not much else to do besides sit around and wait.
 
"I was basically warehoused in a site called PSU or Personnel Support Unit where numerous sailors basically sit around, read the paper, go online," he said.
 
Henderson added that most of the work was done by contractors and there was little opportunity for the promised training.
 
“There are guys who've been in there 10 years and are coming out and having to do excess training just to get a qualification to get a civilian job," he said. 
 
The sailors’ lawyer Steward Levitt claimed the group had been paid salaries to do not much for the last four years other than "play cards" and "be miserable".

He also alleged that sailors who complained were locked in a room and pressured to sign a release clearing the Navy of its training obligations.

Levitt also told the ABC that others were punished if they decided to protest.
 
"I have spoken to a number of trainees who were despatched to chase boat people back to Indonesia, for example," Levitt said.
 
The Department of Defence said in a statement that: "Navy is aware of the concerns raised by some current and former marine technicians, who joined the Navy under the Marine Technician 2010 Career Continuum, and has engaged with those affected."
 
"Navy's position is to solve this training issue."

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