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 your business

Before taking on an apprentice or a trainee you must register your business with Traineeship Apprenticeship Services (TAS).

TAS will arrange a worksite visit and assess your ability to meet the registration criteria. If you are already registered go straight to step two.

2. Find the right person

Options include:

3. Select an ANP

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.

Explore training contracts.

5. Select a registered training organisation (RTO)

An RTO is responsible for delivering the qualification and assessing competencies against the training plan. The choice of RTO should be made with your apprentice or trainee.

A list of RTOs can be found on the national register on Vocational Education and Training (VET) website - this is the official national register of information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and RTOs.

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.

Explore training plans.

7. Seek contract approval

TAS must approve the training contract and training plan to ensure they meet all legal requirements. Your AAC will lodge the signed training contract with TAS 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.

Related information

Other websites

How to employ an apprentice or trainee – WorkReady website.

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Page last updated 7 May 2018

Provided by:
Department for Industry and Skills
Last Updated:
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