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Apprenticeship Central is your one-stop site for apprenticeship or traineeship opportunities – or to find your next employee.

FAQ’s for Apprentices & Trainees

How and when do I complete my Apprenticeship?

To complete an apprenticeship you must first be recognised as competent by your employer and training provider in all the skills required and areas of study outlined in your Training Plan. Most Training Plans are designed so that they generally allow three to four years for completion.

Can I start an Apprenticeship in high school?

If you are still in school and wanting to begin your apprenticeship you may be able to start a School-Based Apprenticeship. If you are thinking of beginning a School-Based Apprenticeship you should first talk to your parents and your school’s Career Advisor, as they will need to agree to support the apprenticeship. School-Based apprenticeships are a great way to get a head start on your future career goals while working towards your year 12 qualification.

What financial assistance or incentives are available for Apprentices?

The government understands that as an apprentice you may need financial help to aid you in completing your apprenticeship. In an effort to help you succeed there are a number of incentives introduced by the government to provide you with the support you need. To find out more about what financial incentives are available for an apprentice, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website. Financial assistance may also be available in the form of Austudy or Youth Allowance. To find out if your eligble for these payments visit the Centrelink website.

What Is Living Away From Home Allowance?

Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) is available for Australian Apprentices who are required to move away from their parents’ or guardians’ home in order to begin or continue their apprenticeship, or are currently homeless. The payments would be made weekly to assist in costs of living.

There are certain requirements needed to be eligible for LAHFA and it would be best to contact your local Apprenticeship Network Provider for Details.

How much will An Apprenticeship cost me?

Depending on the level of your qualification, you may be required to pay a nominal tuition or college fee to your training provider. You may receive a reduction in your fees if you have a Centrelink Health Care card. Speak to your training provider. For most school based apprenticeships and traineeships the government subsidises all the costs so it won’t cost you a thing while at school, however it’s best to check with your training provider first.

In some cases the employer may choose to pay the training fees however this is a decision made by the employer and yourself.

Some other costs you may have to pay include:

  • Textbooks and equipment
  • Tools and uniforms
  • Travel costs to and from the Training Organisation

It may seem quite daunting to face these type of costs however the government has in place initiatives that may help in covering these costs.

What will I earn as an Apprentice?

Your wage as an apprentice is determined by the industrial award you are paid under. This will be different for each person depending on a number of factors, including the industry you will be working in, your age and how long you have been out of school. Remember that an apprenticeship is about learning the skills and knowledge needed to be qualified in a trade. This means that you are currently training to be qualified, and will not earn as much as those who are fully qualified. Once you complete your apprenticeship, you will find that you are able to earn quite a lot more. An apprenticeship is an investment in your future.

What Is a training plan and where will I study?

Between yourself, your employer and the Training Organisation you choose for your apprenticeship, a training plan will need to be created. This Training Plan will outline just what skills and competencies you will need to complete to be fully qualified at the end of your apprenticeship. These skills and competencies will be a mix of on the job training with the employer, and study you will complete under the guidance of your Training Organisation. This is to ensure that you are gaining the necessary skills to be competent in your trade.

You may find that sometimes you will be attending your Training Organisation for study, rather than going to work. The dates that you attend training will depend on what is decided on by the employer, the Training Organisation and you.

What should I expect from my employer?

Your employer will sign a contract with you that will make the apprenticeship official and recognised by the government. In accordance with this contract the employer will use their experience and that of their qualified staff to provide you with the supervision and support you need to complete your apprenticeship.

Are there any requirements before I begin an Apprenticeship?

Almost anybody who is willing to combine their training with paid work is able to work as an apprentice.  An apprenticeship can be undertaken in conjunction with Full-Time or Part-Time work depending on the needs of the employer and apprentice, and if you are still attending school, there are School-Based apprenticeship options that you can discuss with your Careers Advisor at school.

You will need to be an Australian citizen, hold a New Zealand passport or hold a visa that allows you to engage in work in Australia.

What industries provide Apprenticeships?

A better question would be what industries don’t! There are more than 500 occupations nationally in which apprenticeships and traineeships are available. That is a lot of career options to decide on. Feel free to browse through the various job categories on our website for brief descriptions of the various jobs you will be qualified for through apprenticeships.

Employer Faq's

What happens when my apprentice is ready to complete?

Contact your training provider if your apprentice or trainee is ready to complete their qualification. Your apprentice or trainee can complete when you, the apprentice and the training provider all agree that required competencies have been reached.

When should I contact the Apprenticeship Network Provider?

Your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider is there to facilitate the apprenticeship and ensure that it is progressing smoothly. They will provide you the most up-to-date advice on all types of questions you may have leading up to, or during, the time you have an apprentice or trainee.

How do I choose a Training Provider?
Your training provider is responsible for developing and delivering training, Assessing competencies and issuing your apprentice with their qualification once they are completed. It is important that you choose the Training Organisation that will work the best with you and the apprentice. The training provider can either be public, such as TAFE or it could be a private organisation with proper accreditation. Your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre will be able to provide you with a list of Registered Training Organisations that are offering your chosen qualification. There are providers that are funded by the government which means that they can provide subsidised training but if you and your apprentice choose an unfunded provider, the training will be provided on a fee-for-service basis. There are a few questions which you should consider when you and your apprentice are choosing a training provider:
  • How much input will you and your apprentice have into the training plan?
  • Ask how and when the training will take place and when will it be assessed?
  • How often will your provider visit the worksite and provide feedback?
  • Is there any other assistance you and you apprentice need and can the Training Organisation provide you with this?
  • What cost is involved?
How much will an apprenticeship cost me?
There are a few costs involved in hiring an apprentice but they will differ for various industries and Training Organisations. The State Government may subsidise the training costs and the Australian Government offers a range of financial incentives. Eligibility criteria applies.
How much do I pay my Apprentice?

There are minimum conditions for employers and employees across Australia. You can view these at www.fairwork.gov.au or call 13 13 94.

How do I choose the best qualification for my business?

The list of qualifications available to choose from is well over 600. It is understandable if you experience some confusion as to what qualification will best suit your business. To help you decide what is right for you, contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider. You can also use www.training.gov.au. From this site you can search for information on apprenticeships and traineeships, preferred Registered training Organisations (RTOs), supporting courses and qualifications available.

How long will the Apprenticeship or Traineeship go for?

A full time apprenticeship may last anywhere between 3 and 5 years and include qualification levels between Certificate Level III and Certificate Level VI.

A full time Traineeship may take between 1 and 5 years and covers qualifications from Certificate Level II to Certificate Level VI.

The awarding of certificates is competency based. This means that the sooner your apprentice learns all the skills and knowledge associated with the certificate they are attaining, the faster they will complete their apprenticeship. Your apprentice may also be awarded Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for previous experience they have attained through previous work experience or other formal or informal training. This prior learning will count towards their certificate and shorten the time needed to complete the qualification.

What is the difference between an apprenticeship and traineeship?

Apprenticeships are generally for trade based industries. This will include electrical, building and construction, cooking, hairdressing, engineering and automotive. Traineeships will be for industries that may not require a trade certificate, such as retail, tourism, business and I.T. If you are unsure what qualification you want you employee to undertake, contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider.

Top tips for a Successful Apprenticeship

To assist you in assuring the success of your apprenticeship we have assembled a collection of suggestions that can help both you and your apprentice gain the most out of your time together.

Make sure your apprentice:

  • Understands their responsibilities and the expectations you have.
  • Undertakes occupational health and safety training.
  • Has been informed about wages, employment conditions, hours worked, start/finish times, lunch and rest breaks, leave and entitlements.
  • Has been introduced and welcomed to the workplace
  • Understands their role and is aware of how it relates to the success of your business
  • Has the necessary tools and equipment to do their job.

Assign a supervisor who will:

  • Provide ongoing mentoring, encouragement, support, feedback and supervision to your apprentice.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively.
  • Work closely with the training provider ensuring that all competencies are met and ensure that the training plan is up to date.

Provide on the job training ensuring:

  • Your apprentice or trainee has contributed to their training plan.
  • They know how and why each training competency is relevant and important.
  • Time is allocated for training sessions.
  • There is variety in the training regime.
  • You regularly review and evaluate how the training is progressing
The Apprenticeship process In seven easy steps
It can be quite intimidating when first considering recruiting an apprentice. With so much information available it can become confusing quite quickly, which is why we have assisted you by providing the following seven step process.

Step One: Contact Your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider

Once you and your chosen apprentice are ready to begin working it is time for your chosen Apprenticeships Network Provider to become involved. Once you call and confirm your intention of hiring an apprentice the Provider will organise to have a staff member visit you at your business to officially induct you and your employee into the apprenticeship and sign the Training Contract. If you are still unsure what qualification your apprentice should be signed up under, don’t worry. The Apprenticeship Network representative will be able to assist you in deciding what qualification is best suited to your employee, industry and business.

StepTwo: Select a training provider

Between you and your employee, a training provider will need to be selected. Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) may provide their training in various ways (online, visits to the worksite, classes scheduled at the RTO) so it is worthwhile to take the time to choose the RTO that best suits the needs of you and your apprentice. The Apprenticeship Network Representative will be able to assist you by providing a list of your local RTOs. Once the RTO is chosen, they will work with you and your apprentice in creating a training plan. The training plan outlines what competencies and skills your apprentice will learn and a broad timeline of when they should accomplish these goals.

Step Three: Registering your National Training Contract

Your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider will register your National Training Contract with your State or Territory’s Training Authority. Once this has been accepted, the Training Authority will notify you of the registration of your contract through a letter sent to both you and your apprentice.

Step Four: Eligible Incentives To Be Claimed

Depending on the eligibility of you and your apprentice, you may be entitled to a variety of government incentives put in place to assist in the completion of the apprenticeship. Your Apprenticeship Network Provider will check your eligibility for these incentives and will send the appropriate electronic forms to you for completion/verification. When you electronically return these forms they will be processed and payments will be administered to you. This happens at different times during the apprenticeship dependant on what government incentives you are eligible for. Speak with your Apprenticeship Network representative at the signing of you Training Contract to find out what incentives you may be eligible for.

 Step Five: Regular Contact

At various times throughout the course of the apprenticeship, your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider will contact you to see if the apprenticeship is progressing. If you have any questions throughout this time, you are also encouraged to contact your Apprenticeship Network Provider and they will endeavour to assist you in any way they can.

Step Six: Ready To Complete

Once you, your apprentice and your RTO are satisfied that all the requirements of the training plan have been fulfilled, then your apprentice is ready to complete their qualification. All three parties will sign the Completion Agreement (also known as the notice of issue of qualification). The RTO will then issue your apprentice with their qualification certificate and send the Completion Agreement to your State or Territory’s Training Authority.

Step Seven: Completed and trade Qualified

Once the apprenticeship is complete, the Training Authority in your State or Territory will issue a certificate of completion to your apprentice and advise you in writing that this has been issued. At this point your employee is no longer considered an apprentice and will now have a nationally recognised qualification.

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