Working hours for apprentices and trainees

Apprenticeships and traineeships can be done full-time, part-time and while at school, but not by working casual hours. Typically, a traineeship takes 1 year working full-time to complete, whereas an apprenticeship takes 4 years full-time to complete.

Comparison of working hours

Full-time

Part-Time

Casual

School-based

~38 hours/week

~15 hours/week

Not allowed

~7.5 hours/week

Full-time

Full-time apprentices and trainees work and train an average of 38 hours per week and have ongoing employment.

Part-time

Part-time apprentices and trainees are rostered to work on a regular basis, working and training no less than 15 hours per week, averaged over a 4-week cycle.

Casual

Apprenticeships and traineeships cannot be completed on a casual basis. This is to ensure that your apprentice or trainee gets enough contact with your workplace to meet the training plan requirements.

School-based

Over each 3-month period, your school-based apprentice or trainee must work an average of 7.5 hours per week as a minimum.

You must provide your school-based apprentice or trainee with:

  • a minimum of 375 hours (50 days) of paid work for every 12 months of the training contract
  • a minimum of 600 hours (80 days) for electrotechnology industry of paid work for every 12 months of the training contract.

To complete a school-based training contract, a trainee must have completed 50 days of paid work for each year of the equivalent full-time nominal term. School-based apprentices won't finish their apprenticeship while at school.

The nominal term of a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship is generally double that of the full-time apprenticeship or traineeship.

Not enough work for my apprentice or trainee (COVID-19)

If you can't provide enough work for your apprentice or trainee due to COVID-19, you are not considered legally responsible according to the Fair Work Act 2009 (s. 524-525) and you can stand them down.

However, you: