How to employ an apprentice

Government support is available to help businesses employ and apprentice. This is a great way to increase the skill level of your workforce and nurture someone to fit the culture of your business.

You must have a suitably qualified supervisor to be responsible for the training and 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.

When the school-based apprentice finishes school, they convert to a full-time employee.

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 incentives

Allowances, reimbursements and financial incentives are available for your business if you employ an apprentice.


Department for Innovation
phone: 1800 673 097

Related information

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Page last updated 18 July 2022

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Department for Industry, Innovation and Science
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