The Step-by-Step Guide to Hiring an Apprentice or Trainee in Australia

Tom Dowling

8 February 2019    |    read

In our previous post, we discussed the numerous benefits of hiring an apprentice or trainee for your business. From bringing in new perspectives, to honing the workforce of the future, it is an option well worth exploring. Employers who hire apprentices can also benefit from incentive payments under the Australian Apprentices Incentives Program. If your business is considering hiring an apprentice or trainee, check out our step-by-step guide below. 1) Determine why you require an apprentice or trainee Before employing a trainee or apprentice you should be aware of which classification will suit your business needs (full time or part time), what the role will include, and what skills will be used and taught. 2) Find an apprentice or trainee Apprentices and trainees can be found through a variety of ways, including via a local Group Training Organisation (GTO), an advertisement online or in a local paper, a local employment agency, or through a personal acquaintance or recommendation. When using a GTO, the administrative requirements found in steps 3, 4 and 5 will be handled for you. 3) Write a training contract and plan This contract will include the agreed upon qualification that suits both the trainee or apprentice and your business needs. You’ll also need to agree on a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to deliver the training, and develop a plan with the RTO and the apprentice or trainee. 4)Register your apprenticeship or traineeship Once the contract and plan are complete you must submit it to your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. They will lodge them for registration with the State and Territory Training Authorities (STAs). A confirmation letter will be sent to you and your apprentice or trainee once registration is complete. 4) Successfully complete the probation period An initial probation period allows you and the apprentice or trainee to evaluate progress. Afterward, you can decide if the arrangement should continue further. Generally, this period is 90 days long for apprenticeships, and 30 days long for trainees. If both parties decide to continue, the contract will be upheld for the remainder of the agreement. Hiring and training the youngest members of your workforce through an apprenticeship or traineeship program will yield valuable results down the line. Through it, you develop multi-skilled employees, offer professional and career development, and ensure employees are empowered to deliver to your clients. Once you manage them well and help them achieve their full potential, they can greatly contribute to the success of your business.

In our previous post, we discussed the numerous benefits of hiring an apprentice or trainee for your business. From bringing in new perspectives, to honing the workforce of the future, it is an option well worth exploring. Employers who hire apprentices can also benefit from incentive payments under the Australian Apprentices Incentives Program. If your business is considering hiring an apprentice or trainee, check out our step-by-step guide below.

1) Determine why you require an apprentice or trainee

Before employing a trainee or apprentice you should be aware of which classification will suit your business needs (full time or part time), what the role will include, and what skills will be used and taught.

2) Find an apprentice or trainee

Apprentices and trainees can be found through a variety of ways, including via a local Group Training Organisation (GTO), an advertisement online or in a local paper, a local employment agency, or through a personal acquaintance or recommendation. When using a GTO, the administrative requirements found in steps 3, 4 and 5 will be handled for you.

3) Write a training contract and plan

This contract will include the agreed upon qualification that suits both the trainee or apprentice and your business needs. You’ll also need to agree on a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to deliver the training, and develop a plan with the RTO and the apprentice or trainee.

4)Register your apprenticeship or traineeship

Once the contract and plan are complete you must submit it to your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. They will lodge them for registration with the State and Territory Training Authorities (STAs). A confirmation letter will be sent to you and your apprentice or trainee once registration is complete.

4) Successfully complete the probation period

An initial probation period allows you and the apprentice or trainee to evaluate progress. Afterward, you can decide if the arrangement should continue further. Generally, this period is 90 days long for apprenticeships, and 30 days long for trainees. If both parties decide to continue, the contract will be upheld for the remainder of the agreement.

Hiring and training the youngest members of your workforce through an apprenticeship or traineeship program will yield valuable results down the line. Through it, you develop multi-skilled employees, offer professional and career development, and ensure employees are empowered to deliver to your clients. Once you manage them well and help them achieve their full potential, they can greatly contribute to the success of your business.

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Industry Insights    |    read

Bringing in the Next Generation: Apprentices and trainees in Australia

“Instead of just learning something at school and getting thrown off the deep end sort of thing, you get that chance to really be immersed in your field and learn everything from the bottom to the top.” – Colin Wilson, Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) Apprenticeships and traineeships in Australia are employment arrangements which combine training and working in a real occupation for real income. Anyone who is older than 14 years and 9 months of age can undertake it. This can lead to a nationally recognised qualification held in high regard in Australia and in many countries overseas. Employers who hire apprentices can benefit from incentive payments under the Australian Apprentices Incentives Program. Apprentice vs. Trainee: What’s the difference? “I just turned 17 and starting next year I’ll be fully qualified vet nurse, which has been an awesome achievement for myself, the TAFE school, and everyone involved.” – Jessica Pendlebury, Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing “Apprentices” and “trainees” are industry-specific terms. On one hand, apprentices train in skilled work industries. They can belong to a wide range of occupations and trades. This can include plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, bricklaying, and so on. In order to become a qualified tradesperson, one must first complete an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship takes approximately 3-4 years to complete. On the other hand, “trainee” refers to individuals who complete their certification in a vocational field. They work toward certificate level qualifications in industries such as hospitality, retail, or administration. These take approximately 1-2 years to complete. Apprentices and trainees retain many of the rights of a regular employee. This includes right to leave types like annual leave, sick leave, holiday pay. They can also receive wage increases and join a union. More information on apprentice entitlements can be found here. Read more: The Step-by-Step Guide to Hiring an Apprentice or Trainee in Australia Bringing in the next generation “Doing apprenticeship is rewarding, or beyond rewarding, for anyone thinking about doing it, if they’re ready to commit. The rewards at the end are overwhelming.” – Ross Ingham, Certificate III in Plumbing Apprenticeships and traineeships can bring significant benefits to any business. These programs can help develop multi-skilled employees, and allow them to work across the organisation. They offer professional and career development opportunities to attract the next generation. And they also empower new staff to deliver quality services. The role of the next generation in ensuring the sustainability of businesses cannot be understated. Apprentices and trainees contribute practical skills learned throughout their training. They also bring in new perspectives that can enhance systems, processes, and relationships in the workplace. Honing talent and training future industry leaders starts with hiring the right apprentices and trainees.

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About the author

Tom Dowling

Tom Dowling is a Compliance Consultant with a background in information technology and employment law. He assists small to medium sized enterprises to comply with Australia's industrial relations framework, allowing business owners to focus on being successful.

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Industry Insights

Bringing in the Next Generation: Apprentices and trainees in Australia

“Instead of just learning something at school and getting thrown off the deep end sort of thing, you get that chance to really be immersed in your field and learn everything from the bottom to the top.” – Colin Wilson, Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) Apprenticeships and traineeships in Australia are employment arrangements which combine […]

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