How to Employ an Apprentice or Trainee

We all know that hiring an apprentice or trainee can do great things for your business. Not only will you have the chance to strengthen your skills capacity – you may also qualify for incentives like government funding.

But how do you find the right person to take on?

Apprenticeships and traineeships can be facilitated directly through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (Apprenticeship Network). To experience the benefits of hiring an apprentice or trainee, you’ll need to ensure they meet eligibility requirements and that you have the resources and processes in place to provide a high standard of training.  

If you’re not sure how to employ an apprentice or trainee, these tips will help you turn the perfect candidate into a valued member of your team.

1. Understand what you’re looking for and your obligations

Employers are required to meet a range of obligations when hiring an apprentice or trainee. Failing to meet your obligations could result in the training arrangement falling through, leaving both parties out of pocket. This is why it’s so important to be aware of your responsibilities as an employer.  

Any business that takes on an apprentice or trainee will have specific obligations concerning:

  • Training facilities
  • Supervision requirements
  • Training contracts
  • Keeping a record of training
  • Work health and safety

One of the biggest obligations you have are surrounding wages. Apprentices and trainees receive specialised pay rates while completing their qualification. These can only be paid if you have a formal registered training contract with them.

The pay rates can vary based on age, length of apprenticeship or traineeship, how much training they have completed, and if they are an adult or school student. These pay rates are set out in the government award or agreement that applies to your business.

The exact obligations you’re required to meet will depend on the trade or qualification your employee is being trained in. If you’re unsure of your responsibilities, working with an RTO is the surest way to understand how to employ a trainee or apprentice and the requirements involved with this process.

2. Find potential candidates


Schools can also be a good source of suitable candidates, particularly if they have a VET Coordinator or Industry Liaison Officer you can use as a point of contact between you and students looking for apprenticeships.

QLD ‘Out of Trade’ Register

Some State and Territory governments have ‘out of trade’ registers for apprentices and trainees who haven’t fully completed their training yet. For the Queensland Out of Trade Register visit trade apprentices.

3. Choose your training partner and sign a training contract

Once you’ve found your hire, you’ll need to choose your training partners, sign the training contract, conduct an induction and start the probationary period. To do this you will need to work with the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) who will help you with all the paperwork and a RTO such as Major Training to deliver the off-the-job training and assessment.

As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), we’re able to offer a range of training for apprenticeships and traineeships across various industries, including:

4. Commence training

Now that you’ve found the right hire and everything is signed, it’s time to get the apprenticeship or traineeship started.

Is there Government help for employing an apprentice?

Employers can subsidise the cost of offering apprenticeships in QLD by taking part in federal and state funding schemes and incentives. Designed to offset the expenses involved with providing skills-based training, these incentives enable businesses to invest in apprenticeships and traineeships without putting extra pressure on their bottom line.

To learn more about the incentives and funding provided to employers, please visit our Funding page.

What is the cost of employing an apprentice or trainee?

There are some costs involved with employing an apprentice, but as mentioned above, you may qualify for financial incentives to help offset those costs. Apprentices are an investment, and any money you spend on their training will benefit your business in the long-run.

If you’re thinking of expanding your workforce, learn more about the benefits of hiring an apprentice or trainee. You may also want to visit our Information for Employers page to find out the steps involved with the hiring process. Once you’ve found the right fit, contact Major Training to start developing your new employee’s skills.

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