An apprenticeship is a form of on-the-job training where you would work under contract to an employer to learn all aspects of a trade. Apprenticeships need to be registered by the Department of Education and Training (DET). If you are an apprentice you need to be employed under an appropriate state or federal award or approved enterprise agreement or Australian workplace agreement.
Pay rates for apprentices
As an apprentice you should be paid a wage that reflects the time you spend at work and in training. These wages can vary according to:
- the industry you are employed in
- the stage you have reached in your apprenticeship
- the skills you have acquired.
Registering an apprentice
Your employer is responsible for registering you as an apprentice within 28 days of you starting work in the trade. To register you, your employer must contact their local New Apprenticeship Centre (NAC), who will organise the training contract and a summary training plan.
Your employer must send you to TAFE as soon as the next TAFE term begins. You are responsible for enrolling yourself at TAFE once you have your apprentice approval notification from DET.
New Apprenticeships Centre
For more information on apprenticeships you can visit your local New Apprenticeships Centre. In addition to providing information, these centres also market and promote apprenticeships in the local area, administer Commonwealth incentive payments to employers and establish effective relationships with the Commonwealth’s contracted Job Network providers, training providers, schools and other organisations.
Apprentices check list
As an apprentice, you should:
- record the times you work
- record your break time (to ensure you are not having this pay deducted without taking the breaks)
- ensure you are paid for meetings and training sessions
- ensure you are getting a tool allowance if you are entitled to one and if you supply your own tools
Apprentice probationary period
If you accept an apprenticeship you will be put on a three month probation period. This probation period:
- allows your employer to assess you on the job
- gives time for both you and your employer to determine your suitability to the trade
- gives your employer the ability to review your performance during the probation period
- can assist with addressing any issues before they become problems.
Responsibilities of apprentices
As an apprentice you have certain responsibilities including:
- attending training sessions at TAFE
- completing all assignments and other assessments set by TAFE
- maintaining a record book or work evidence guide
- obeying all instructions given by your employer in the workplace
- following the training plan to ensure you obtain your qualifications.
Resolving disputes about apprenticeships
If difficulties arise between you and your employer, the local State Training Centre (STC) should be contacted immediately. A Training Advisor (TA) from the STC can visit your workplace to discuss the issues, give advice and attempt to resolve the dispute. You also have the right to contact the STC if you feel there is a problem with the apprenticeship.
A traineeship is a great way to gain experience. Trainees undertake on-the-job work (usually four days per week) as well as training provided by a college or other training provider (usually a day each week). All apprentices and trainees are employed under an appropriate state or federal award or approved enterprise agreement or Australian workplace agreement.
Pay rates for trainees
Trainees should be paid a wage that reflects the time they spend at work and in training. These wages can vary according to the industry in which they are employed, the stage they have reached and the skills they have acquired.