Employing an apprentice or trainee

Australian Apprenticeships combine practical work with structured learning and lead to a nationally recognised qualification. Australian Apprenticeships include both apprenticeships and traineeships and can be full-time, part-time or school-based. Australian Apprenticeships can be undertaken by both new and existing workers.

Australian Apprenticeships also provide a range of benefits for businesses. Group training organisations 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. For more information about Australian School-based Apprenticeships refer to the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Some of the benefits of employing an Australian Apprentice include:

  • training to meet your business needs
  • training is offered in a range of industries
  • training is offered at all certificate levels up to advanced diploma
  • there is a flexible choice of registered training organisations which provide off-the-job training 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.

An Australian Apprentice is generally paid an apprentice or trainee wage under an award because they spend time in training, however, in some cases an Australian Apprentice can be paid above the award wage.

Wages for Australian Apprentices vary based on:

  • years of training
  • the type of apprenticeship
  • 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 more information about Australian Apprentice workplace rights refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Only employers whose workplace address is in the ACT can enter into an ACT Australian Apprenticeship training contract.

An employer can enter into an ACT training contract where the Australian Apprentice:

  • is in paid work with an ACT employer
  • is at least 15 years of age
  • is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, New Zealand passport holder resident for more than 6 months, or holds an eligible visa confirmed by Skills Canberra
  • works full-time or part-time and receives remuneration (including leave and other entitlements) for their work
  • 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 employee
  • undertakes a minimum of 15 hours combined work and training per week (for an Australian School-based Apprenticeship this is a minimum of 11 hours for Certificate II and 15 hours for Certificate III and a maximum of 20 hours)
  • undertakes an approved Australian Apprenticeship qualification with a registered training organisation.

6 steps to employing an Australian Apprentice

Step 1 - Seek out your prospective Australian Apprentice employee

This can be done through a group training organisation, an apprenticeship network provider, the Jobactive website, and other job websites, your usual company selection processes, or other sources.

Step 2 - Hire your Australian Apprentice

Commence employment of your selected Australian Apprentice.

Step 3 - Choose an Apprenticeship Network provider (ANP)

Choose an ANP that will help you complete a training contract, assist in the selection of an appropriate qualification for your Australian Apprentice and nominate a registered training organisation to deliver the training. There are 3 ANPs available in the ACT region:

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 or casual equivalent when signing a training contract are classified as new workers (those employed longer than this are classified as existing workers). New and existing workers can attract different levels of funding so it is important to finalise a training contract quickly for the new employee. Contact your ANP for further information.

Step 4 – Lodge the training contract

Lodge the training contract for approval within 28 days of the nominated commencement date on the training contract through your ANP and ensure you keep a copy.

Step 5 - Sign a training plan

Negotiate and sign a training plan with the registered training organisation (RTO) you have selected to provide the training for your apprentice.

To find a RTO or nationally recognised course, training package and qualification refer to the ACT Qualifications Register. More detail on specific qualifications, including units of competency, can be found at training.gov.au.

Step 6 - Take an active role

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

Apprenticeship Network providers

Apprenticeship Network providers (ANPs) are contracted by the Australian Government to provide one-stop shops for people wanting to take up an Australian Apprenticeship career path and for employers seeking to hire Australian Apprentices.

ANPs have targeted services that provide advice and support to Australian Apprentices and employers who need additional assistance prior to contract sign-up and during training. Employers, schools, registered training organisations, Australian Apprentices and trainees can receive assistance from their ANP about the Australian Apprenticeship system.

For more information about ANPs refer to the Australian Apprenticeships website.

There are 3 Apprenticeship Network providers contracted by the Australian Government to deliver services in the ACT. These are:

Apprenticeship Support Australia

Address: Level 3, 24 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2600

Telephone: 1300 363 831

Email: mailto:info@apprenticeshipsupport.com.au


MEGT

Address: Suite 2, Level 1, Ethos House, 28-36 Ainslie Place, Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone: 6274 0000

Email: aasninfo@megt.com.au


Sarina Russo Apprenticeships

Address: 79 Constitution Avenue, Campbell ACT 2612

Telephone: 1300 178 776

Email: apprenticeships@sarinarusso.com.au


Group training organisations

Group training organisations (GTOs) support the Australian Apprenticeship system by providing employment for Australian Apprentices. GTOs employ Australian Apprentices under a training contract and place them with host employers.

An Australian Apprentice may move from one host employer to another throughout the term of their training contract. This ensures continuity of employment and enhanced quality and range of training experience for the apprentice, and also provides benefits for businesses that may otherwise be unable to employ an apprentice.

All ACT employers that seek to identify as a GTO must be registered in the ACT.

Registered GTOs are able to:

  • promote themselves as a quality GTO
  • use the national GTO logo
  • access Commonwealth, State and Territory government programs and incentives.

GTOs must demonstrate compliance with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations which then allows the GTO to be listed on the GTO National Register and use the GTO National Standards and branding.

When a GTO is the legal employer of an Australian Apprentice the GTO is responsible for:

  • placement of the Australian Apprentice
  • selection and recruitment of Australian Apprentices
  • management and payment of wages, allowances, superannuation, workers compensation and other employment benefits
  • management of the quality and continuity of training, both on and off-the-job
  • provision of additional care and ongoing support necessary for the apprentice to successfully complete their training contract
  • monitoring the apprentice’s progress against their training plan.

All Australian Apprenticeship administration is managed by the GTO.

A host employer is the organisation that hosts an Australian Apprentice employed by a GTO under a written host employer agreement. The host employer provides supervision and on-the-job training and pays the GTO for the Australian Apprentice’s services.

The host employer agreement specifies the responsibilities of each party in relation to the Australian Apprentice's training and the charge out rate payable including:

  • the host employer’s responsibilities in training and supporting the Australian Apprentice while in their workplace
  • the host employer’s obligations to maintain a safe workplace
  • the requirement for host employer’s to work cooperatively with the GTO and registered training organisation.

GTO registration is dependent upon a range of factors including whether the GTO is already registered in another State or Territory.

To become registered as a GTO in the ACT the organisation must demonstrate compliance with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations.

The Evidence Guide to support the National Standards for Group Training Organisations provides practical examples of evidence that may assist GTOs demonstrate compliance.

You may apply to register a GTO by completing an Application to register a group training organisation (GTO) in the ACT (DOCX 39KB) and submitting a completed ACT group training organisation registration compliance assessment report (DOCX 179KB).

For detailed information about the registration process refer to the ACT Group Training Organisations Registration Guide (DOCX 173KB).

Registration allows the GTO to be listed on the GTO National Register and use the Group Training Organisation Logo.