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FAQs for Employers

What is AATIS and how can this website help me?

The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service (AATIS) has information for people considering career options, employers looking at recruitment and those providing support and advice.

For Employers, AATIS provides you with the information and links you need to find your new apprentice or trainee, find out the correct employment terms and conditions, connect with the apprenticeship network provider near you to sign up your new apprentice or trainee. There is even information and links to assist you make the whole arrangement positive for you all.

AATIS does not advertise jobs or training courses. AATIS provides all the information and resources you need to find your ideal apprenticeship or traineeship, your new staff member and up to date information.

Recruitment Information

How do I put on an apprentice or trainee?

Step 1 - Apprentices and trainees can be found in the same way as any other new employee, such as advertising on relevant job search sites and via word of mouth, but there are some extra options that may be worth considering. You can contact your local secondary school, your local TAFE or Training Provider, your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider, an “out of trade” register and your local Group Training Organisation.

Step 2 - Every Australian Apprentice must be signed up into a formal training contract as soon as they are employed. This ensures that everyone is aware of their responsibilities, and the apprentice or trainee is registered correctly with the government. You will also sign up your apprentice or trainee with a Training Provider after the sign up.

Step 3 - After an apprentice or trainee has started work, Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers or Group Training Organisations may offer what is called Post Placement Support.

You can find information about all of these steps in the Employer section of the website.

How do I find an apprentice or trainee to fill a position?

Apprentices and trainees can be found in the same way as any other new employee, such as advertising on relevant job search sites and via word of mouth, but there are some extra options that may be worth considering. You can talk with Group Training Organisations as they specialise in apprenticeship employment. Your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider can also assist with recruitment.

Our web site is designed to connect you to places where you can find an apprentice or trainee and there are also lots of ideas and tips about apprenticeships, employment and supporting employees.

I have found an apprentice/trainee to take on. What now?

Every Australian Apprentice must be signed-up into a formal training contract as soon as they are employed. This ensures that everyone is aware of their responsibilities, and the apprentice or trainee is registered correctly with the government. Ask the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider of your choice to conduct your sign-up. 

After the sign-up employers can pay apprentice or trainee wages and the Australian Apprentice can be enrolled to start the training with an approved training provider.

To organise a sign-up, employers need to contact an Australian Apprenticeship Network Support provider. They lodge the contract of training with the State or Territory government, assess your eligibility for incentives and if your apprentice or trainee is entitled to any additional support.

How do I transition a current worker into an apprenticeship?

There are a number of steps you need to consider for this. The first is to find out if there is an appropriate apprenticeship available in that industry and if your current worker is eligible to start an apprenticeship.

The best thing for you to do is to contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider which administers the registration of all apprentices and trainees. You can use our service provider search to find your nearest AASN.

What qualification do I put in the job ad?

You don’t need to put a lot of detail into your ad. The minimum details would include whether it is a traineeship or apprenticeship and what year level you want. You don’t have to identify the qualification level if you are uncertain. Some examples of the title of ads look like this:

  • Electrical Apprenticeship - 1st Year
  • Certificate III in Beauty Services Traineeship
  • Carpentry Apprenticeship - 1st, 2nd Year
  • Part-time Childcare Traineeship

Have a look at some other job ads to get an idea about what to put in yours, in some Job Search Sites.

It is best to know as much as possible about the qualification you are advertising so that you can choose the best person for the job and you can answer the questions your candidates may have about what they will need to do. To find out about the qualification you will use for your apprentice or trainee work through the options in the Job and Training Descriptions on our website.

Wages and Financial Information

What should I be paying my apprentice or trainee?

Employers are responsible for meeting their industrial relations requirements for all staff, and should be aware of the consequences of not meeting these obligations.

Apprentices and trainees may be subject to different wages and other requirements compared with other employees. It is important that employers become familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to their apprentices and trainees.

The Fair Work Ombudsman and Australian Apprenticeships Support Network providers will be able to assist employers understand their requirements when taking on an Australian Apprentice.

Do I have to pay my apprentice when they go to TAFE?

Yes, apprentices and trainees are paid their normal hourly rate for the time they are in training. Questions about Australian Apprenticeship wages and awards can be answered by the Fair Work Ombudsman. 

The awards which covers your business can also state who is responsible to pay for an apprentice or trainee's enrolment fees, consumables fee and whether there are any travel, accommodation, or uniform allowance entitlements.

To find out all of these details, call the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or go to www.fairwork.gov.au.

If you are employing through a Group Training Organisation you need to ask if you will be invoiced for the hours your apprentice or trainee is at training.

Who pays for the TAFE fees?

There will probably be an enrollment fee connected to the Australian Apprenticeship training. Some awards stipulate that this is the responsibility of the employer whereas other awards are silent on the issue. There may also be State or Territory based policies relating to fees. It's important to check employer responsibilities in this area either the Registered Training Organisation you are using, or with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

What incentives can I get for taking on an apprentice or trainee?

The Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme provides a number of incentives to assist employers who take on an Australian Apprentice, particularly where the Australian Apprenticeship is in a trade experiencing a skills shortage.

Visit the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme page on the Australian Government's website for information about the available incentives.

To find out whether you would be eligible for incentives when taking on an apprentice or trainee, speak with an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

Post-Recruitment Information

What are the obligations of an employer to their apprentice?

Employing apprentices and trainees carries a number of additional obligations to normal employment arrangements. When managing an apprentice or trainee it is important to recognise that they may have little or no experience in a work environment. While they will have a lot to learn, this does not mean that they are not able to make a valuable contribution from the very beginning of their Australian Apprenticeship. You will also need to make time allowances for trade school and study.

You can find more information about employer obligations on our Managing an Australian Apprentice page, and your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider will run through your obligations at the time of sign up.

What do I do if I am having problems with my apprentice or trainee?

When taking on an apprentice or trainee employers are agreeing to help train them in the skills they need to become qualified. This means they need to show these employees how to perform tasks to the standard needed, and to guide them to achieve that standard.

Not everyone will be a good supervisor of apprentices and trainees. When considering who should take on the role as supervisor it's important to remember that they will need to:

  • Have patience to train an inexperienced and probably a young person
  • Will need to be able to explain tasks, probably more than once
  • Will need to be readily available to demonstrate and observe the apprentice’s performance.

Sometimes apprentices and trainees may encounter difficult situations. There may be issues involving alcohol or drugs, for example, or issues in the employee's personal life. Sometimes these issues may be the cause of difficulties at work such as poor attendance or poor performance, or problems with workmates.

There are often established ways to deal with these issues in workplaces and they should be considered in the same way as for other employees. If you are having issues with your apprentice or trainee that you haven't been able to resolve internally, you can contact the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider who conducted the sign up, or your Group Training Organisation (if you use this service). These organisations can help resolve any workplace issues and may be able to provide external support and mentoring.

The Registered Training Organisation (RTO) delivering the course work can assist with any off the job training support to keep your apprentice or trainee on track with their training.

If there are issues that cannot be resolved using the above organisations, each State Training Authority has Apprenticeship Field Officers who can provide advice and support to you and your apprentice or trainee.

Training Information

Do all apprentices and trainees have to go to TAFE?

Apprentices and trainees all have to do formal training but this doesn’t have to be at TAFE. 

Registered Training Organisations (RTO) deliver the formal off-the-job training for Australian Apprentices. A Registered Training Organisation may be a TAFE or it could be a private training provider. 

Choosing an RTO is a combined decision between the employer and the apprentice or trainee. But before you do, consider the following:

  • Which RTO can deliver the training you need for the qualification?
  • Which RTO your apprentice or trainee can get to if off-the-job training is involved?
  • Which RTO has a good reputation for the course needed?
  • Which RTO will work with you and your employee to make a training plan which matches the needs of the apprentice and your workplace?
  • Which RTO will provide you and your employee with the support you may need throughout the training?

Find out more about how training works, what an RTO does and what training the workplace looks like.  

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.