General Information for Apprentices and Trainees

How do I complete my apprenticeship or traineeship and is there a limit to how quickly I can complete?

Your apprenticeship or traineeship is complete once you, your employer and your training organisation agree that all the requirements of your training plan have been fulfilled.

How quickly an apprenticeship or traineeship can be completed will depend on a range of factors including your competence and skills, the ability of your employer to provide work experience in the range of competencies required and the ability of your training organisation to provide flexible training programs.

If applicable, the expected duration of the apprenticeship or traineeship should be discussed with the parties at the time of the induction and be reviewed as monitoring takes place during the apprenticeship or traineeship.

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How can I get a copy of my completion certificate?

If you have misplaced your completion certificate (also known as trade certificate or indenture papers) you can apply for a replacement copy. Normally a charge for replacements will apply.

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My employer won't let me do my training. What should I do?

First, speak with your employer. Remind them that the training you are required to receive is detailed in your training plan. You should also discuss the matter with your training organisation (Supervising Registered Training Organisation).

If the matter cannot be resolved, contact the representative from Australian Apprenticeships Centre who will assist you with further contact numbers.

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My employer won't sign my training record

Your training record is important as it records your progress and achievement of competencies as agreed to in thetraining plan in your apprenticeship or traineeship. You are responsible for the training record and if you change employers, you must retain the training record to present to your new employer.

You should present your training record to your employer and training organisation at regular intervals, using the opportunity to discuss your progress, encourage feedback, and review the training plan to ensure your training is progressing at a satisfactory rate.

A penalty can apply if you fail to keep and produce your training record as required. If your requests to update your training record are not met, discuss the matter with your training organisation.

If the matter cannot be resolved, contact the representative from Australian Apprenticeships Centre who will assist with further contact numbers.

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How do I change my employer?

If you wish to cease your apprenticeship or traineeship with one employer and start with another employer you must complete a cancellation form to cancel the Training Contract for your current apprenticeship or traineeship.

Generally, you and your employer must agree to the cancellation (if you are under 18 years of age your parent or guardian must also agree).

Once cancelled, you will need to sign another Training Contract with the new employer. You will need to complete another period of probation and develop a training plan with your new employer and training organisation. If the matter cannot be resolved, contact the representative from Australian Apprenticeships Centre who will assist you with further contact numbers.

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Your employer has just fired you. What should you do?

For whatever reason you wish to cancel the apprenticeship or traineeship, you should be aware that the Training Contract you have entered into with your employer is legally binding.

This means that neither you nor your employer can just ‘quit’ the apprenticeship or traineeship. If your employer has just fired you, please contact the representative from Australian Apprenticeships Centre who will provide further information on who to contact and also the best departmental officers or contacts to approach regarding this matter.

Cancellation of a Training Contract should only be considered as a last resort once all efforts have been made to resolve the issues that threaten the apprenticeship or traineeship. Officers from each State Training Authority are available to help work through any issues you and your employer may have.

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If your apprenticeship or traineeship is cancelled, can you complete with another employer?

If the State Training Authority has approved the cancellation of your previous apprenticeship or traineeship, you may recommence it with another employer. You and your new employer will be required to sign a new Training Contract through a representative from Australian Apprenticeships Centre and you will be required to complete another probationary period with your new employer.

Your training record is yours to keep and may be used to show employers the training you have completed. It is important that your training record is up-to-date as it’s the purpose is to record your progress and achievement of competencies in your apprenticeship or traineeship.

If your new Training Contract is for the same apprenticeship or traineeship, you may be granted credit for previous service or experience.

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If you recommence your apprenticeship or traineeship with another employer, will you receive credits for the time you completed with you previous employer?

If you recommence an apprenticeship or traineeship (the same as your previous qualification), generally you will receive credit for previous service.

Any ‘time’ credit allowed is applied to, and may reduce, the nominal term of the apprenticeship or traineeship. The State Training Authority will determine the appropriate amount of ‘time’ credit.

Previous experience or service may also allow you to receive credit transfer and/or recognition of prior learning for the competencies achieved.

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What happens if I move interstate during my apprenticeship or traineeship?

If you relocate interstate whilst you are an apprentice or trainee and are continuing your apprenticeship or traineeship with the same employer, you will need to have your apprenticeship or traineeship registered in the state or territory you have moved to. You will need to cancel your Training Contract in the original state, and enter into a new Training Contract and have that Contract registered by the new State Training Authority.

You may also need to change training organisations, so make sure you receive a statement of attainment from your current training organisation outlining all of the competencies you have completed to date.

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What is an extract of service?

An extract of service is an official document issued by State Training Authority. The document confirms the trade calling or traineeship occupation and the period/s served under the Training Contract/s. Apprentices or trainees can request an extract of service once a training contract is cancelled however, if you intend on recommencing your apprenticeship or traineeship in another state you may be required to provide appropriate documentation to the interstate training authority. A charge may apply.

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What should you do if you are being treated unfairly at work?

As an apprentice or trainee, you should be treated the same as any other employee in your workplace. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, you should take action as soon as possible. This may be difficult, but will provide the best chance to work through the problem.

If the matter cannot be resolved, contact the representative from Australian Apprenticeships Centre who will assist with further contact numbers.

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How you can find out about wages and pay levels?

Pay rates

Pay rates for many employees changed on 1 July 2010 – where their modern award has transitional arrangements. Pay rates (including loadings and penalties) under these modern awards will continue to change as the modern award rates of pay are phased in over a period of four years.

Your boss has to pay you under an Award.

From 1 January 2010, modern awards cover most workplaces. Modern awards were created to establish one set of minimum conditions for employers and employees across Australia who work in the same industries or occupations.

Modern awards do not apply to an employer who is bound by an enterprise award. An enterprise award regulates the terms and conditions of employment only in the single business specified in that award.
Your Award will cover:

  • base rates of pay, including piecework rates
  • types of employment (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual)
  • overtime and penalty rates
  • work arrangements (e.g. rosters, variations to working hours)
  • annualised wage or salary arrangements
  • allowances (e.g. travel allowances)
  • leave, leave loading and taking leave
  • superannuation
  • procedures for consultation, representation and dispute settlement
  • outworkers
  • an industry-specific redundancy scheme.

Modern awards must also include a procedure for settling disputes about matters covered by the award or the National Employment Standards.

You’ll find your Award listed on your Training Contract or you could look at http://www.fairwork.gov.au/awards/pages/default.aspx

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How do you check to see if you really are being paid the right amount?

After 1 July 2010, modern awards were introduced and are being phased in over a period of four years until the full modern award rates apply on 1 July 2014.

In this period pay rates need to be calculated with reference to the pre-modern award entitlement that used to cover, or would have covered, the employee before 1 January 2010 as well as the relevant modern award entitlement.
The FairWork Ombudsman’s website has a handy tool called PayCheck. It lets you calculate the base rates of pay for a particular job. It takes into account the modern award classification and the corresponding pre-modern award classification and automatically factors in changes resulting from Fair Work Australia’s annual wage review.

Pay Check is a simple search tool that will give you a base rate of pay for your job. Just go to http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/finding-the-right-pay/pages/default.aspx or ring Fair Work Infoline.

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Will you be paid for the time you spend undertaking supervised training?

Yes you will. Supervised training is commonly referred to as on or off-the-job training delivered by your training organisation. Under the requirements of the training contract, all employers must release their apprentice or trainee from work and pay the appropriate wage to attend any off-the-job training (including assessment) as provided for in the training plan.

Please note that school-based apprentices and trainees may not be paid for this time with the training organisation. Contact Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 to find out more about this.

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Further financial support that may be available for you.

While there are some costs involved in completing an apprenticeship or traineeship, financial support may be available to help with these costs.

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