The La Trobe University Careers & Employability recently published an Entry Level Employment Opportunity for a position at the Fair Work Building and Construction agency, which is an incredibly valuable opportunity for law graduates.
We spoke to the FWBC’s Eddie Malkin to ask him what the agency does, what a typical working day looks like, and where this position could take you as a law graduate!
What is your agency called? What are its core values?
Our agency is called Fair Work Building and Construction and is often referred to as FWBC.
FWBC is a high profile federal government agency responsible for ensuring cooperative, productive and harmonious workplace relations in the building industry. To achieve this we educate and advise building industry participants, investigate and audit breaches of Commonwealth workplace laws and manage legal proceedings in the courts.
Being a part of the Australian Public Service, FWBC occupy a position of trust. FWBC is entrusted by the Government and the community to undertake important work on their behalf. With this trust comes a high level of responsibility which should be matched by the highest standards of ethical behaviour. Together the APS Values, the APS Employment Principles and the APS Code of Conduct set out the standard of behaviour expected of agency heads and APS employees. They provide the public with confidence in the way public servants behave, including in their exercise of authority when meeting government objectives.
For further information I recommend visiting the FWBC website.
What does FWBC do?
At FWBC we have a passion for enforcing workplace laws to ensure cooperative, productive and harmonious workplace relations are maintained in the building and construction industry
Our mission is to ensure that the ‘Rule of Law’ prevails in the Australian building and construction industry and that building work is carried out fairly, efficiently and productively for the benefit of all building industry participants and for the benefit of the Australian economy as a whole.
We are responsible for the workplace relations matters in the building and construction industry which include:
- Educating and advising building industry participants
- Investigating and auditing of alleged contraventions of legislation (Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act), Independent Contractors Act 2006 (IC Act), and Building Code 2013 (Building Code) through site visits, site inspection and audits.
- Taking legal action and institute proceedings for contraventions of legislation
What is the structure of the agency?
FWBC is a national agency with offices in each capital city. The Agency Head, Nigel Hadgkiss is based in our head office in Melbourne. The agency is comprised of five branches:
- Office of the Director
- Professional Services
- Building Code
- Regional Sites (location specific) – include investigators, lawyers and support staff
What is being offered?
As a recent graduate, you will be provided with an exciting opportunity to make a real and tangible difference in the building and construction industry.
We are offering an outstanding opportunity for graduates and near-graduates that have a genuine interest in commencing their careers in this highly specialised but exciting area of workplace relations as either an Investigator or a Lawyer.
You will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, work in a dynamic environment and develop great skills, knowledge and create networks required to kick start a career. You will receive training and development, mentoring and on the job support over the 12-month development opportunity. Being a small agency, you won’t be overlooked when you work with us.
You can expect:
- Great pay, conditions and work/life balance
- On the job and training to help you succeed
- A huge range and variety of opportunities
For further information about the roles, I recommend visiting the careers section of the FWBC website.
What duties would I do in the Investigator role?
As an Investigator you will be provided with many opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge as well as work with senior leaders of the agency. Under supervision and guidance, the typical duties of a Graduate Investigator include, but are not limited to:
- Assist with conducting compliance activities and investigations into breaches of
Commonwealth workplace laws and the Building Code.
- Assist with conducting site visits and undertaking all aspects of code audits and inspections.
- Participate in education sessions that FWBC provides to industry participants and
liaison with relevant organisations and Government agencies.
- Support and maintain effective stakeholder relationships.
- Assist with the preparation of reports, correspondence and briefs of evidence.
- Undertake administrative support and operational tasks including planning, research and analysis activities.
What duties would I do in a Lawyer role?
As a lawyer you will collaborate with a team of lawyers and have the opportunity to learn from senior lawyers. Under supervision and guidance, the typical duties of a Graduate Lawyer include, but are not limited to:
- Provide day to day legal administrative duties.
- Attend court to assist lawyers and to report on proceedings.
- Conduct legal research & draft and file legal documents.
- Preparing court and government documents including evidence summaries.
- Draft briefs for counsel.
- Sit in on witness preparation before trials.
- With supervision, provide prospects advice to the investigator in relation to briefs of evidence.
- Liaise with external lawyers, counsel and other stakeholders in the course of litigation.
- Assist investigators with providing information and advice to industry stakeholders.
What is the starting salary?
Base salary for this position is $59,407. The total remuneration package comprises of the base salary ($59,407) and superannuation at 15.4%.
What support will I receive?
As a graduate you will be supported by a team leader and colleagues in your team. You will have buddy assigned to you to help you transition to full time work. You complete a number of learning modules and will undertake internal training specific to your role
Who will I report too?
You will report directly to a team leader but will have a number of support mechanisms that will be available.
What will I be doing in 6 months?
At this stage you would have undertaken internal training relevant to the position and would have commenced developing the required foundation skills. You will be heavily involved with current projects (either investigations or litigations), you will be assigned tasks to complete from your team leader but will be responsible for managing your workload and meeting deadlines. Ongoing support will be provided along with further development opportunities being made available.
What will I be doing in 12 months?
At 12 months you will have completed the necessary training and developed the core foundation skills to successful assist with workloads and projects (either investigations or litigations).
You will have development strong business acumen along with core transferable skills and knowledge that are applicable to a variety of roles. You will development the necessary skills and tools to kick start your career.
What skills will I develop or refine?
Both the investigator and lawyer role will provide an opportunity to develop a strong array of skills. You receive opportunities to develop problem solving skills where you will be faced with situations that require you to conduct research, analyse, assess and make recommendations to management. Collaborating with colleagues and stakeholders will occur on a daily basis where you will need to team building, negotiate and network. You will be required to communicate to arrange of stakeholders including senior executives.
The skills that you will develop during your experience will be transferable to any future roles you undertake.
What industries do FWBC employees end up in?
The skills and experiences that you develop in a role at the FWBC are not specific for any key industry and are transferable to other roles. There is no set industry that you will end up in.
With the skills and knowledge obtained as an Investigator being unique, Investigators have a higher likelihood of obtaining employment in other government agencies undertaking similar investigative work.
We have had lawyers and investigators commence with the agency that have moved on to both public agencies and private firms and are working in areas outside of employment law and workplace relations.
If there are any questions, candidates are welcomed to contact Eddie Malkin on (03) 8509 3031 or via email.
Want to apply?
Apply for the position through the La Trobe University CareerHub.
Find out more about similar opportunities
The La Trobe University Careers & Employability team also work with employers to create and promote job opportunities and industry based learning opportunities for students.
The unit also develops and coordinates the provision of services, programs and activities designed to enhance and enrich the university experience and improve the employability of all students.
The team works in partnership with staff in Divisions, Colleges and Schools on curricular and co-curricular programs designed to assist students to succeed in their studies and transition into successful and rewarding careers as world ready, work ready, future-ready graduates.
To keep up to date on Internships, Part-Time Work and Graduate Opportunities, make sure to login and review CareerHub on a regular basis, and check the calendar for events that could help you start or further your professional career!