Employing an apprentice or trainee

How to employ an apprentice

Your business may benefit from taking on an apprentice or trainee and there is government support to help you. Employing an apprentice or a trainee is a good way of increasing the skill level of your workforce. It is also an opportunity to nurture someone to fit the culture of your business.

You must have a suitably qualified supervisor responsible for the training and to provide mentoring and practical on-the-job guidance.

Step by step guide

1. Register as an employer of apprentices or trainees

Before taking on an apprentice or a trainee you'll need to register to employ and train them.

What you need to know about employer registration - Skilled Careers

2. Find the right person

Options include:

3. Select an Apprenticeship Network Provider

ANPs are contracted by the Australian Government to help employers with signing up to a training contract and advising whether they are eligible for any incentives.

4. Sign a training contract

Before starting an apprenticeship or traineeship, all parties must sign a training contract.

The contract will outline the rights and obligations that apply for the length of the training period. An Australian Apprenticeship Centre (AAC) will help prepare the training contract and other paperwork.

Training contracts

5. Select a registered training organisation (RTO)

RTOs deliver qualifications and assess competencies against the training plan. Selecting an RTO should be done with your apprentice or trainee.

A list of RTOs can be found on the myskills website.

6. Prepare a training plan

The RTO, employer and apprentice or trainee must agree on a training plan. The RTO is responsible for the preparation of the training plan.

Training plans

7. Seek contract approval

We'll approve training contracts and training plans to ensure they meet all legal requirements. Your AAC will lodge the signed training contract with us on your behalf. Your RTO will lodge the training plan.

Employ a school-based apprentice or trainee

You can also employ an apprentice or trainee under a school-based arrangement, which allows a student to work part-time for your business while studying for a nationally recognised qualification as part of their high school studies.

The school must agree and an employer needs to enter into a training contract with the student. A parent or guardian of students under 18 must also enter into the training contract.

The same conditions and obligations apply as with all other apprenticeships and traineeships.

Pay and penalty rates

Employers must pay apprentices and trainees according to the awards and agreements on the Fair Work Commission website.

Apprentices and trainees are entitled to the same conditions of employment as all other employees working in similar occupations. This includes:

  • superannuation guarantee
  • worker's compensation
  • all leave entitlements
  • protection under anti-discrimination and occupational, health and safety laws.

Financial assistance

Funding is available to help you employ apprentices and trainees:

Related information

Other websites

Managing an apprentice - Skilled Careers

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Page last updated 16 August 2019

Provided by:
Department for Innovation and Skills
Last Updated:
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