Home Employer Information & Support Training Your Apprentice

Training Your Apprentice

Your apprentice or trainee will do a nationally endorsed qualification with a Registered Training Organisation.

At the end of a successful Australian Apprenticeship, employees will have achieved a certificate in a nationally endorsed qualification which has been developed through consultation with industry.

A real strength of the apprenticeship and traineeship approach is the combination of structured training delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and training delivered by the employer helping the training into the context of the workplace. This practical training, reinforced through everyday use, leads to the development of productive staff. 

An employer's ongoing staff supervision and attention to their progress through their training are major factors in achieving successful Australian Apprenticeship outcomes.

Electricians in training, working in a practical workshop

Who delivers the training?

Formal training is conducted by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), which goes through an endorsement process and regular audits. There are public and private RTOs.

Public RTOs are usually TAFE colleges or other state funded organisations such as community education centres, schools and dual-sector universities. Private RTOs can be for profit or not-for-profit organisations. Some large companies set up their own enterprise RTO focused on training within their organisation. Some industries set up their own Industry RTO and some Group Training Organisations are also private RTOs.

Whatever the type of RTO, they are all subject to the same quality standards and audit process.

RTOs may focus on a single industry or a range of industries. They can develop and offer a variety of training delivery methods.

States and Territories determine the qualifications that will receive public funding support when delivered as Australian Apprenticeships. Additionally, each State and Territory government registers RTOs that can train apprentices and trainees in specific qualifications. 

If an RTO is accredited to deliver a qualification, its training and assessment will be recognised by every other RTO in Australia as they are delivering qualifications that are endorsed Australia-wide.

Some considerations

When deciding which RTO to select, employers should consider reputation, flexibility about the content of the training and how it is delivered, location and associated costs. It is important to remember that the employer is the customer in this relationship. If an RTO is not able to meet an employer's requirements they are welcome to look around for alternative RTOs.

Employers can change RTOs midstream if needed. Apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications are nationally portable, meaning any other RTO in the country that offers the qualification will recognise the training that has already taken place, enabling future training to build on past achievements.

The apprentice or trainee will need to enrol with the RTO for formal training, which will occur soon after signing of the training contract. The RTO will construct a training plan with the employer and employee that will outline what aspects of the training are delivered by the RTO and what aspects the employer will need to focus on in the workplace.

There will probably be an enrolment fee connected to the Australian Apprenticeship training. Some awards stipulate that this is the responsibility of the employer, and there may also be State or Territory based policies relating to fees. It's important to check employer responsibilities in this area either with an RTO or Fair Work.

A young woman with her supervisor in a factory, coating glass.

Competency Based Training

Australian Apprenticeships are ‘competency based’ which means that a person must demonstrate that they are competent in a specific skill or task at the required skill level. This provides training with a practical workplace focus. In some cases the achievement of competency can be the trigger for a wage increase.

The training involved with Australian Apprenticeships is detailed in a training plan, developed by the Registered Training Organisation in consultation with the employer and apprentice.  This plan details how the underpinning nationally endorsed qualification will be completed.

Employers can discuss training style, content and delivery options in more detail with an RTO when an apprenticeship or traineeship gets underway.

An Australian Apprenticeship can take from one to four years to complete, depending on the type of Australian Apprenticeship and the qualification undertaken. Training pathways and durations are set by State or Territory governments in consultation with industry.

About the training plan

A training plan contains the detail of what the apprentice or trainee will cover in their training. This includes the units of competency, when they will be delivered, and where the training and assessment will take place.

Most qualifications include the choice of elective units which are used to ensure the training best meets the needs of the employer and employee. Training plans are flexible and can be revisited at a later date should needs change and to ensure that it remains relevant. Any changes will need to be made in consultation with the RTO, employer and apprentice.

Training in the workplace

Most of the training an apprentice or trainee receives is in the workplace, not at the RTO. To achieve this outcome employer supervision of performance and training is required.

Over the course of the Australian Apprenticeship, practicing skills in the workplace will lead employees to being able to demonstrate their competence to industry standards.

Hand writing with a pencil on a piece of paper

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Some apprentices and trainees may need assistance with literacy or numeracy. Any concerns should be discussed with the RTO which may be able to provide extra support in these areas.

There may be other avenues for assistance with literacy and numeracy training. An Apprenticeship Network Provider or a GTO are good points of contact.

Find out more about Language, Literacy and Numeracy.

Handy Resources

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Apprentice and Trainee Wages

The Fair Work Ombudsman can provide you with information about pay increases as your apprentice progresses through their training.

Two people inspecting some machinery


Contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider to find out which RTOs deliver training in your local area and to ask about incentives and mentoring services that may be available.

Someone being taught to use a drill

Guide to taking on an apprentice

Find information and links relevant to completing an Australian Apprenticeship.

Group of four chefs looking and smiling at the camera.

Provide a safe workplace

Learn about how to keep your workplace safe for your apprentices, trainees and other employees with resources from Safe Work Australia and links to WHS authorities in each State and Territory.