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FAQs for Apprentices

Training Information

Do apprentices and trainees have to go to TAFE?

All Australian Apprentices and Trainees have to do formal training, but this doesn’t have to be at TAFE. 

Registered Training Organisation’s (RTO) deliver the formal off-the-job training for Australian Apprentices. TAFEs are one type of RTO, but you can also do your training at a private training provider. 

Your employer may already have an RTO they use to train their apprentices and trainees. If you and your employer are choosing an RTO, you should consider:

  • Which RTO can deliver the training you need for your qualification?
  • Which RTO you can get to for your 'off the job' training (e.g. the location)?

Remember, you need to sign-up into your apprenticeship or traineeship through an Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider before you start training. They will be able to give you information on which RTOs deliver the training in your area, and may be able to suggest an RTO to use.

For more information about the training component of your Australian Apprenticeship, visit our How Does Training Work? page.

Employment Information

What do I do if I am having problems at work?

It is important to seek help if you are having problems at work. If possible, speak to someone at your workplace. Your supervisor may be a good person to talk with, however another staff member may also be able to help.

If you aren't able to talk with someone at your workplace, you should call your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. This is the provider who organised your training contract. You should be able to find their details on the contract, or take a look at our Service Provider Search to find a phone number for your provider.

Each state and territory government has field officers to help resolve difficulties with an Australian Apprenticeship, so you can also get in contact with them. You can find phone numbers for these on the Service Provider Search.

If you are employed through a Group Training Organisation, they will be able to discuss your problems and support you through your apprenticeship.

The Registered Training Organisation delivering yout training can also be a good contact point to discuss any issues, particularly problems about the training.

For more information about support service, visit our Ongoing Support for Apprentices page.

My current employer has run out of work, how can I continue my apprenticeship?

Your apprenticeship contract is between you and your employer so if your employer cannot continue to employ you, that contract has to be cancelled. Your employer needs to contact the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider, preferably the one that you signed up with, but any of the providers can assist. 

What you do next will depend on how far you are through your apprenticeship. If you are nearly finished and you have completed all of your off-the-job training you may be eligible for an early completion. If you have some time before you complete, the best thing to do is immediately start looking for a new employer. There are lots of ideas and tips about job hunting to help you with this process. 

Talk to the training provider who was delivering your off-the-job training as they may have some links to prospective employers and may be able to continue with your training for a short time while you are job searching. Most important is to start immediately with all of these steps. The longer the gap between employers, the harder it will be to get a new employer and to keep your training going.

It is important to inform any prospective employer how far along are you in your apprenticeship as this will dictate your wage rate. You should also register with any Group Training Organisations in your area as they specialise in apprenticeship employment. 

Your State or Territory may have an 'out of trade' register that you can be added to, for employers who are looking for apprentices further into their training.

I have been sub-contracting or working in an industry, how do I transition to a related apprenticeship?

There are a lot of steps you need to consider for this, the first two are to find out if there is an appropriate apprenticeship available in that industry and if you are eligible to start it. You can search the Job and Training Descriptions for apprenticeships and traineeships that are eligible in your state or territory.

You should talk with your employer to find out if they take on apprentices and trainees, and if they would be willing to take you on. If you aren't sure about how an apprenticeship might work, do some research first to make sure you can have a good discussion with your employer.

The Steps to an Australian Apprenticeship explain how to go from career research right though to signing up. You should also contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider to discuss your eligibility.

Wages and Financial Information

Can I receive financial help from the government for my study?

Many traineeships and apprenticeships have fees for undertaking the training part of the apprenticeship or traineeship. There are also a number of different subsidies and incentives available depending on your circumstances. 

The best place to find advice about enrolment fees and entitlements for apprentices, trainees and employers is your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider, and the Registered Training Provider you are enrolled with. For additional information about the types of support that might be available, visit the Wages & Financial Support page

Am I getting paid correctly for my apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship wages are determined by the relevant award you are under. All the relevant information about the award, including the wages and allowances you are entitled to can be found at the Fair Work Ombudsman web site.

If you aren't sure which award you are under, use the Pay and Conditions Calculator to try and work this out. In the award you should look for the section about Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

If you don't think you are getting paid correctly, you should discuss this with your employer. You can also contact Fair Work for help with next steps.

You can call Fair Work on 13 13 94.

How can I monitor the process of my Trade Support Loan application?

Trade Support Loans are loans paid in installments over the life of an Australian Apprenticeship. These loans are intended to assist apprentices with everyday costs while they complete their apprenticeship. Eligible trade Australian Apprentices may apply (opt-in) for regular instalments according to their needs.

Payments made to apprentices through the Trade Support Loans are repayable through the taxation system when the minimum income threshold is reached.

More detailed information is available from your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. Contact details for your Apprenticeship Network provider can be found through the Service Provider Search, or on your Contract of Training.

Is my employer obligated to pay for my training-related costs?

This depends on the apprenticeship you are undertaking and the conditions of the award covering that apprenticeship. Some awards say who is to pay enrolment and consumable costs and some don’t. You will need to research your circumstances by talking to your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider and looking at your award conditions at the Fair Work Ombudsman web site.

If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact AATIS on 1800 338 022 or email your questions to contact@aatis.com.au.