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An apprenticeship or traineeship is a great way to not only invest in your business, but to give someone the opportunity to gain the necessary skills and experience to succeed.

What’s an apprenticeship or traineeship?

An Australian Apprenticeship, also known as an apprenticeship or traineeship, is the opportunity for your employee to gain valuable work experience, develop their skills and acquire a Nationally recognised qualification, all whilst earning an income.

The main difference between an apprenticeship and traineeship is the length of time it takes for the employee to complete their qualification. For apprentices this can take up to four years, whilst trainees can take between one and two years.

With opportunities available in more than 500 occupations at all certificate levels up to Advanced Diploma, there is sure to be various qualifications suitable to your business’s needs.

Who can do an apprenticeship or traineeship?

An apprentice or trainee can be a student, school-leaver, a person re-entering the workforce or an adult looking for a career change. But it can also be an existing employee needing to be upskilled – whether that be due to a promotion, an industry regulatory requirement or simply part of their professional development.

Employing an Apprentice or Trainee

Apprentices or trainees are generally employed under a federal or state award or agreement. They are paid a wage which varies depending on a number of factors, such as:

  • which year of their training they are in;
  • the type of apprenticeship or traineeship they are enrolled in; and
  • the industry or occupation.

They are paid as an apprentice or trainee once signed into a Commonwealth Government Training Contract. This needs to be completed within 14 calendar days of employment and can be arranged through Apprenticeships Matter. For any hours worked before the Training Contract is lodged, you may be required to pay them labour wages.

They have the same rights to superannuation, workers’ compensation and other entitlements or requirements as all other workers in Australia.

As the employer you can negotiate off-the-job training components around timing, location and the nature of the training to meet your business needs.

A range of financial incentives may be available to you when you employ an eligible apprentice or trainee. To find out more information about funding available to you, click here.

Roles and Responsibilities

As an employer of an apprentice or trainee, you will enter in an employment training arrangement, with a commitment to mutual respect, honesty and fairness. This arrangement is set out in a formal Training Contract (TC) which identifies the legal obligations binding you and your apprentice or trainee.

As the employer you must:

  • Meet all legal obligations, conforming with Australian Government and State legislation;
  • Provide a safe working environment, free from bullying, discrimination and harassment;
  • Provide a comprehensive introduction to the workplace including Occupational, Health and Safety (OH&S) requirements.
  • Support the structured training or your apprentice or trainee by providing opportunities for them to develop knowledge and skills and participate in the development of their training plan;
  • Provide continuous supervision and support, which can include a coaching or mentoring arrangement; and
  • Ensuring your apprentice or trainee is aware of their rights and responsibilities.

For a comprehensive list of all parties role and responsibilities, click here to download the PDF.