Responsibilities when employing apprentices and trainees

When you sign up an apprentice or trainee, you have certain roles and responsibilities according to the training contract.

Range of work and supervision

For an apprentice or trainee to succeed, they need appropriate:

To make sure that you have the adequate training arrangements required to meet their needs, your workplace will be assessed by a registered training organisation (RTO) when developing and reviewing the training plan.

Electrical industry

Read important information for employers of apprentices in the electrical industry.

Pay and entitlements

Unless you are hosting an apprentice or trainee through a group training organisation, you are responsible for paying wages and providing entitlements as specified in the relevant industrial award.

Training and study

You must release your apprentice or trainee from work and pay them to attend off-the-job training and assessment.

The training might take place:

  • at your workplace
  • somewhere else (for example, a TAFE campus or a private college)
  • online.

You must not directly or indirectly:

  • block or discourage your apprentice or trainee from participating in their training and assessment
  • disadvantage them for participating in their training.

Note: If your apprentice or trainee is school-based, you may not be required to pay them for time spent attending off-the-job training. It depends on what industry award or agreement you operate under.

Find out more on paid training entitlements.

Training plan

The training plan is the document that outlines your apprentice's or trainee's training and assessment requirements needed for their chosen qualification. It is specific to their qualification and your workplace.

You are responsible for:

  • jointly negotiating the training plan with your apprentice or trainee and the supervising registered training organisation (SRTO)
  • delivering what is listed in your apprentice's or trainee's training plan
  • updating the training plan within 28 days when it is required (due to a change of SRTO or transfer of training contract).

Training record

While the apprentice or trainee is responsible for updating the training record, you and the SRTO are jointly responsible for inspecting it at least every 3 months.

It records your apprentice's or trainee's progress and specifically, which 'competencies' they have completed.

If your apprentice is not making enough progress and neither you, your apprentice or trainee or the SRTO can resolve the problem, the department must be notified. See more about compulsory reporting (below).

Apprenticeships in the electrical industry

Read specific information relating to your responsibilities as an employer of an apprentice in the electrical industry.

Workplace health and safety

You are responsible for the health and safety of your apprentice or trainee whilst in the workplace in the same way as your other employees.

You are obliged to provide your apprentice or trainee with:

  • an introduction to the workplace which covers hazard identification and risk prevention
  • training in safe work procedures
  • initial and ongoing supervision
  • personal and protective equipment including instructions on how to effectively use and wear equipment.

You must also:

  • guard hazardous plant and machinery
  • prevent or minimise the risk of exposure to hazardous substances and manual handling injuries.

Under workplace health and safety legislation, your apprentice or trainee also has responsibilities, including:

  • complying with your health and safety instructions
  • using the personal protective equipment, you provide
  • not willfully or recklessly interfering with or misusing health and safety provisions
  • not willfully placing at risk the health and safety of others
  • not willfully injuring himself or herself.

Compulsory reporting

When you sign a registered training contract with an apprentice or trainee, it is one of your responsibilities to notify us when certain situations happen, such as your business being sold or your apprentice or trainee leaving during their probation period.

School-based apprentices or trainees

There are some very specific obligations that apply when you employ a school-based apprentice or trainee.

School arrangements

You must:

Minimum hours

You must:

  • provide at least 375 hours (50 days) of paid work over each 12 month period of the apprenticeship or traineeship
  • provide 600 hours (80 days) of paid work if you are in the electrotechnology industry.

Employing 24 or more school-based apprentices/trainees

If you have, or intend on, employing more than 24 school-based apprentices and/or trainees, you will need approval from us prior to commencing the sign-up process. This does not apply to group training organisations (GTOs) or principal employer organisations (PEOs).

Contact your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider, or us, at Apprenticeships Info.

Also consider...

  • Read about further responsibilities of group training organisations and their host employers.
  • Parties who do not carry out their responsibilities under the registered training contract may be disciplined for engaging in misconduct. Find out more about misconduct and discipline.