Hiring an Apprentice or Trainee

Australian Apprenticeships combine practical work with structured learning and lead to a nationally recognised qualification. They provide Australian Apprentices with the necessary job experience to get the career they want. Australian Apprenticeships include both apprenticeships and traineeships. Australian Apprenticeships also provide a range of benefits for businesses. Group training organisations (GTOs) are able to arrange for you to share an Australian Apprentice with another business if you don't have enough work for an ongoing or full-time position. You can also engage an Australian Apprentice part-time while he or she is still at school through an Australian School-based Apprenticeship (ASBA).

Benefits of hiring an Australian Apprentice

  • people trained to your business requirements
  • training offered in a range of industries
  • training offered at all certificate levels up to advanced diploma
  • flexible choice of registered training organisations (RTOs), which provide off-the-job training to your Australian Apprentice, with negotiations around timing, location and nature of the training to suit your business needs
  • government funding may be available to subsidise the cost of training
  • a range of financial incentives for eligible employers
  • attainment of nationally recognised qualifications.

Costs of hiring an Australian Apprentice

An Australian Apprentice is generally paid a training/apprentice wage under an award because they spend time in training, however, in some cases an apprentice can be paid above award wage. The wages for apprentices vary based on; years of school completed, years of training, the type of Australian Apprenticeship and the industry or occupation. Australian Apprentices are generally treated the same as any other employee in terms of superannuation, workers compensation and any other entitlements or requirements. For any further information regarding apprentices workplace rights please visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Employing an Australian Apprentice

In the ACT, you can enter a National Training Contract (training contract) if your employee:

  • is in paid work in the ACT
  • is at least 15 years-of-age
  • is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand passport holder resident for more than 6 months
  • is not a casual employee or self-employed (sub-contractor)
  • is supervised by a suitably qualified person who is permanently employed at the same workplace and predominantly for the same hours as the Australian Apprentice
  • undertakes a minimum of 15 hours combined work and training per week (minimum of 11 hours and a maximum of 20 hours for an ASBA
  • undertakes an approved Australian Apprenticeship qualification with an approved RTO.

There are six easy steps to employ an Australian Apprentice.

Step 1
Seek out your prospective Australian Apprentice employee. This can be done through a GTO, Job Services Australia, job sites on the internet, advertising in the newspaper, your usual company selection processes, or other sources.

Step 2
Commence employment of your selected Australian Apprentice.

Step 3
Choose an Apprenticeship Network Provider that will help you complete a training contract, assist in the selection of an appropriate qualification for your business and nominate a RTO to deliver the training. The training contract may commence on the same day that employment commences or may commence at a later date. Australian Apprentices who have been employed less than 3 months full-time or 12 months part-time equivalent at the time of signing a training contract are classified as new workers (those employed longer than this are classified as existing workers). New workers and existing workers can attract different levels of funding so it is important to finalise a training contract quickly for the new employer. Contact your AAC for further information.

Step 4
Lodge the training contract for approval within 3 months of the nominated start-date on the training contract through the AAC you have chosen and ensure you keep a copy of training contract.

Step 5
Negotiate and sign a training plan with the approved RTO you have selected to provide the training for your Australian Apprentice. To find a RTO or nationally recognised course, training package, qualification and unit/s of competency please visit the ACT Qualifications Register.

Step 6
Organise and continuously take part in the workplace component of the structured training for your Australian Apprentice through to completion of the qualification. This ensures assessment and validation of competence in the workplace.

National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships

The National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships (the code) assists both parties entering into a National Training Contract with a clear understanding of each other’s obligations and expectations.

National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships MS Word File (104kb)

National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships PDF (27kb)

Choosing a training pathway and qualification

A training pathway refers to the different ways a person can achieve a qualification.

Under an Australian Apprenticeship, these pathways may include:

  • recognition of prior learning (RPL)
  • access to a qualification through a combination of structured training and recognition of current competencies (RCC) gained through prior learning
  • structured training and assessment at the learning institution (off-the-job) and in the workplace (on-the-job

Employers, Australian Apprentices and registered training organisations identify the most appropriate path for each Australian Apprentice and this is set out in the training plan.

The type of training plan will depend on factors such as:

  • the type of skills being developed
  • the relative effectiveness of individual study as opposed to team-based learning
  • the skills the Australian Apprentice already has
  • the practicality of travelling to a learning in institution to attend classes
  • the number of other Australian Apprentices undertaking similar training.

For more information on exploring education and training pathways please visit the Job Guide website.

The current year's ACT Qualifications Register shows the qualifications that are available through an Australian Apprenticeship in the ACT.

The qualification chosen contains competency standards relevant to the job undertaken as an Australian Apprenticeship. More information about nationally recognised Australian qualifications is available at the Australian Qualifications Framework.

The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information website also contains information about qualifications and registered training organisations.