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Employing an apprentice or a trainee is an effective way to increase the skill level of your workforce and there's support to help you.

Skilling South Australia advisors can guide you when taking on an apprentice

A dedicated advisor service is available to support employers to take on apprentices and trainees.

Advisors can provide you with tailored information about incentives, training, funding, employer registration, the training system and provide you with information on the Apprenticeship Network Providers that can help find you an apprentice or trainee and sign them up.

To talk to a Skilling South Australia Advisor, call the Infoline on 1800 673 097.

Steps to employ an apprentice or trainee

A Skilling South Australia advisor can help you at any point along the way.

  1. Register as an employer of apprentices or trainees
    To apply online for new registration or to update your existing registration, see Register to employ an apprentice or trainee.
  2. Find an apprentice or trainee
    You can find the right person by:
  3. Select an Apprenticeship Network provider (ANP)
    ANPs are contracted by the Australian Government to help you find apprentices and trainees, check your eligibility for financial incentives, choose a training provider for the off-the-job training for your apprentice or trainee, and sign the training contract.

    For more information, visit Australian Apprenticeship Support Network.
  4. Select a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
    An ANP can help you choose the best RTO for you and your apprentice. The RTO will help you to create a training plan, deliver the training and qualification, and assesses your apprentice’s competency against the training plan. Selecting an RTO should be done in consultation with your apprentice or trainee.

    Alternatively, you could talk to other employers in your industry about their experience with different training providers.

    For courses and training providers, see Find a training course.
  5. The ANP submits the signed training contract for our assessment
    The training contract and training plan must meet the legal requirements and be approved by us before you can start. Your ANP will lodge the signed training contract with us and your RTO will lodge the training plan.
  6. We notify you, the apprentice or trainee, the ANP and the RTO when the contract has been approved

Employing a school-based apprentice

You can employ an apprentice under a school-based arrangement which allows a student to work part-time for your business while studying for a nationally-recognised qualification as part of their secondary school studies.

For more information, see School-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

Pay and penalty rates for apprentices and trainees

Wages and conditions for apprentices and trainees are set out in the Modern Awards that are maintained and reviewed by the Australian Fair Work Commission. Alternatively, some apprentices and trainees may be covered by an enterprise agreement.

If you are a small business employing someone for the first time, the Fair Work Ombudsman has developed resources to assist you. The Small Business Showcase provides information on hiring employees, paying employees, keeping the right records, leave entitlements and managing employees.

For information about awards and agreements, visit Fair Work Ombudsman.

Conditions of employment for apprentices and trainees

Apprentices and trainees are entitled to the same conditions of employment as all other employees working in similar occupations. This includes superannuation guarantee, worker's compensation, leave entitlements and protection under anti-discrimination and occupational, health and safety laws.

For resources about workplace rights and obligations, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Training contracts include a probation period

The probation period starts on the day an apprentice or trainee commences and is generally 90 days for apprenticeships and 30 days for trainees, and is stated on the training contract. This period gives you time to decide if the arrangement suits you both. After the probation period, you and your apprentice will need to agree on changes you wish to make. In some circumstances, we will need to approve those changes.

Hosting an apprentice instead of employing directly

Are you keen take on an apprentice but don’t have enough work for either a full-time or part-time position, the range of work or the capacity to manage paperwork and administration? A Group Training Organisation (GTO) can help you ‘host’ an apprentice while they do their training.

A GTO can:

  • recruit a suitable apprentice for you
  • arrange the training contract and all associated paperwork
  • work with an RTO to arrange formal training
  • provide support to you and your apprentice to successfully complete the apprenticeship
  • manage payment of the apprentice’s wages, superannuation, leave entitlements and other allowances.

As the host employer, you pay the GTO, and provide on-job training and supervise your apprentice during their placement.

For information and assistance, contact a registered South Australian Group Training Organisation (Word)

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