Follow our 5-step process for employing an apprentice or trainee for your business.

You'll need to understand your obligations and assess the pros and cons to decide if taking on an apprentice or trainee is the right step for your business.

Apprentices and trainees can be rewarding, helping to bring fresh perspective and innovative ideas to your business, and providing an opportunity for your business to grow. However, there may also be risks associated with taking on someone who may be uncertain about their future.

Risks and rewards

Read about benefits and risks of taking on apprentices and trainees.

Employer obligations

Make sure you can provide your apprentice or trainee with the range of work, facilities and supervision.

Costs and incentives

Consider if you can meet any costs involved and what financial incentives may be available to you.

Employer incentives and subsidies

Check if you're eligible for incentives and subsidies for taking on an apprentice or trainee.

Training costs

Some apprenticeships and traineeships are funded, however, there may be other training costs involved.

Wages and entitlements

Apprentices and trainees have the same rights as other employees, including wages, entitlements, and superannuation.

To help you find the right person, decide what skills you need, what the job involves and how you'll employ this person.

Apprentices and trainees can be:

  • full-time or part-time
  • school-based
  • adult or mature age
  • an existing employee who wants to transition into an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • living with a disability.

Recruit apprentices or trainees

Use job seeker websites, group training organisations, registered training organisations and local high schools to recruit your next apprentice or trainee.

Apprentice and trainee responsibilities

Your apprentice or trainee will need to follow the responsibilities of the apprenticeship or traineeship.

Once you've found your apprentice or trainee, it's time to get the apprenticeship or traineeship started.

You'll need to choose your training partners, sign the training contract, conduct an induction and start the probationary period.

Probationary periods

Use the probationary period to assess your apprentice or trainee's work ethic, reliability and potential to succeed in their training.

Training contracts

The training contract is a formal agreement between you and your apprentice or trainee.

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider

AASN providers:

  • help you sign a training contract with your apprentice or trainee
  • check your eligibility for Australian Government incentives
  • support you with the paperwork and administrative tasks for setting up, managing and completing and be your first point of call during the apprenticeship or traineeship.

AASN providers

You can't start an apprenticeship or traineeship without an AASN provider. Find out what their role is.

Choose an AASN provider

Use our checklist to help you find an AASN provider who is right for your business.

Registered training organisation (RTO)

RTOs deliver the off-the-job training and assessment for the apprenticeship or traineeship. They will help you negotiate the training plan, which determines when, how and where training will be delivered.

Once an RTO accepts the role of training and assessing your apprentice or trainee, they will be known as the supervising registered training organisation (SRTO) for the apprenticeship or traineeship

Choose a training organisation and course

Use our checklists to choose an RTO and course for your apprenticeship or traineeship.

Training plans and records

Your apprentice or trainee will have a training plan and training record, used to manage their training progress.

Prepare for your apprentice or trainee

  • Organise the workplace supervisor to support and guide your apprentice or trainee.
  • Start the probationary period.
  • Carry out an induction – this ensures the apprentice or trainee feels well-informed, welcome and equipped for the job.
  • Include an overview of your business, expectations, roles, responsibilities, working conditions and workplace health and safety protocols.

You must meet your training, supervision and reporting obligations throughout the term of the apprenticeship or traineeship:

  • Provide on-the-job training to the apprentice or trainee, and allow them to attend off-the-job training with the SRTO.
  • Provide a suitable range of work, facilities and supervision.
  • Ensure your apprentice or trainee is progressing through their training at an appropriate speed.
  • Report any 'notifiable events' (e.g. changes to business or range of work, training delays or dismissal).
  • Work to resolve any issues with the apprentice, trainee, and partner organisations.
  • Make changes to the training contract (e.g. transfer, suspend, extend, cancel).

Resolve issues

Follow our tips for resolving issues with the apprentice, trainee, AASN provider or SRTO.

Amend the training contract

Change things like name, address, business owner, start date, date of birth, contract mode, qualification and SRTO.

Transfer the training contract

When changed circumstances affect your ability to meet some or all of your training obligations, you can transfer the training contract either temporarily or permanently.

Extend the training contract

If your apprentice or trainee won't complete their training by the original end date, you may need to request an extension to the training contract.

Suspend the training contract

If you or your apprentice or trainee can't meet the training obligations for a specific period of time (e.g. lack of work, illness, injury or parental leave), the training contract can be suspended.

Cancel the training contract

As a last resort, you may need to cancel the training contract. This can be done mutually, by one party, or in some circumstances, by us.

Your apprentice or trainee is ready to be completed when they have successfully achieved all competencies in their training plan.

As apprenticeships and traineeships are competency-based, not time-based, your apprentice or trainee could be ready to complete earlier then the 'nominal completion date' in the training contract.

Upon completion your apprentice or trainee will receive:

  • a 'qualification certificate' from the SRTO
  • a 'completion certificate' from us.

Complete the apprenticeship or traineeship

Contact your SRTO to start the completion process for your apprentice or trainee.

Get your completed apprentice or trainee licensed

Find out how to get your completed apprentice or trainee licensed, if required.

What's next for my completed apprentice or trainee

You do not need to continue employing your apprentice or trainee once they have completed, however, you can now employ them as a qualified member of your staff.

Employ your qualified apprentice or trainee

Benefits of employing your qualified apprentice or trainee.