The #1 thing you need to remember when hiring and signing up apprentices and trainees

5 August, 2019

So, you’ve put on an apprentice or trainee? Or you’re thinking about signing one up?

Great choice! By hiring and signing up an apprentice or trainee, you’re not only giving a local job seeker a valuable opportunity to get the skills and experience they need to succeed, you’re also helping to future-proof your business.


But did you know – an apprentice or trainee can only be paid apprentice or trainee wages if they’re signed into a Commonwealth Government Training Contract?

That means you may be required to pay higher (labourer) wages to your apprentice or trainee for any hours worked before the Training Contract is lodged.

It also means your apprentice or trainee won’t be able to enrol with their Registered Training Organisation and commence formal training until a Training Contract is in place.


What does this mean for you?

That all depends on where you’re located! Each State or Territory has its own rules and regulations around when a Training Contract needs to be lodged.

But don’t worry – we’ve broken it down for you below:

  • ACT

    In the ACT, you need to contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider within 28 calendar days of employment to arrange for your apprentice or trainee to be signed into a formal Training Contract and registered with Skills Canberra.

  • NSW

    In NSW, you need to contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider within 28 calendar days of employment to arrange for your apprentice or trainee to be signed into a formal Training Contract and registered with Training Services NSW.

  • QLD

    In QLD, you need to contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider within 14 calendar days of employment to arrange for your apprentice or trainee to be signed into a formal Training Contract and registered with the QLD Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

  • SA

    In SA, you need to contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider within 4 weeks of employment to arrange for your apprentice or trainee to be signed into a formal Training Contract and registered with the SA Training and Skills Commission.

  • TAS

    In TAS, you need to contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider within 28 days of employment to arrange for your apprentice or trainee to be signed into a formal Training Contract and registered with Skills Tasmania.

  • VIC

    In VIC, you need to contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider within 14 calendar days of employment to arrange for your apprentice or trainee to be signed into a formal Training Contract and registered with the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority.

  • WA

    In WA, you need to contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider within 21 calendar days of employment to arrange for your apprentice or trainee to be signed into a formal Training Contract and registered with the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development..


What happens if you sign up your apprentice or trainee outside of this timeframe?

As well as delaying your apprentice or trainee from enrolling in their formal training, you may also risk possible penalties for underpayment of wages. You will also be required to supply evidence to the relevant State or Territory Training Authority demonstrating why you couldn’t meet this requirement.

But if you’ve already had an apprentice or trainee on the books for longer than your nominated timeframe above, there’s no need to stress! Just let us know and we’ll talk you through the requirements to get you and your apprentice or trainee on track.


Does this mean there’s no “trial” period available for apprentices and trainees?

Nope!

There is a 3-month probationary period included in all apprentice or trainee Training Contracts, which means:

  • You can pay your new worker apprentice/trainee rates (instead of higher labourer wages),
  • They’ll accumulate time towards their apprenticeship or traineeship, and
  • Either party can terminate the Training Contract with one week’s notice during this period.

Where does MEGT come in?

This might all sound complicated but don’t worry - we’re here to make it easy. Simply contact us as soon as you can after your apprentice or trainee commences and we’ll:

  • Make a time to visit your workplace
  • Sign up your apprentice or trainee (and check your eligibility for Government financial incentives while we’re there)
  • Lodge their Training Contract with the relevant State or Territory Training Authority, and
  • …That’s it! You’ve met your requirements and your apprentice or trainee can get on with the job!

Want to know more or need to book in a sign-up?

Head here to connect with your local apprenticeship expert at MEGT.