The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring an Apprentice

Hiring an apprentice can serve as the initial step for those looking to expand their business. Hiring an apprentice can be a mutually beneficial arrangement, allowing employers to train future talent while providing apprentices with valuable hands-on experience.

Apprentice retention should always be a top priority for any company, which is why researching your options prior to interviewing is advantageous.

There are several different apprenticeship paths and structures available within each different state or area. Shop around and take the time to delve into the specifics of each qualification, the duration and the funding which may be available from a governing level on offer to decide which model works best for you. 

An integral resource to have on your team is an ASSN or an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider such as OSMAC. From start to finish and everything in between, an ASSN will walk you through every step of the process of finding and managing an apprentice.

Below we have collated our top 5 Do’s and Don’ts when engaging with an apprentice.


1. Clearly Define the Role: Before hiring an apprentice, clearly define the role and responsibilities they will undertake. Create a detailed job description outlining the tasks, skills, and qualifications required. This sets expectations from the outset and helps both parties understand what is expected.

2. Provide Adequate Training and Support: Apprenticeships are designed to provide on-the-job training. As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide the necessary training and support to help the apprentice succeed and progress. They are not there to provide “cheap labour”. This includes assigning a mentor, providing regular feedback, and offering opportunities for growth.

3. Establish Strong Communication Channels: Effective communication is crucial for a successful apprenticeship. Regularly check in with the apprentice to address any concerns and provide guidance. Encourage open dialogue and create a supportive environment where questions are welcomed.

4. Encourage Skill Development: Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for individuals to learn and grow. Encourage the apprentice to take on new challenges and expand their skillset. Provide and be flexible with opportunities for them to attend workshops, conferences, or training programs to enhance their knowledge.


1. Neglect Legal Obligations: When hiring an apprentice, it is important to understand and comply with the legal obligations associated with apprenticeship programs. Familiarise yourself with local labour laws, minimum wage requirements, and any specific regulations related to apprenticeships.

2. Underestimate the Time Commitment: Hiring an apprentice requires a significant time commitment from both the employer and existing employees. Ensure that you have the necessary resources and support to provide the guidance and training needed for the apprentice’s development.

3. Overlook Equal Opportunities: Treat all applicants fairly and avoid any form of discrimination during the selection process. Provide equal opportunities to candidates irrespective of their gender, race, religion, or any other protected characteristic.

4. Micromanage the Apprentice: While it is crucial to provide guidance and support, avoid micromanaging the apprentice. Give them room to make mistakes and learn from them. Encourage independent thinking that fosters problem-solving skills.

5. Provide Inadequate Feedback: Regular feedback is essential for an apprentice’s growth. Be constructive in your feedback, highlighting both areas of improvement and strengths. Offer praise and recognition when deserved, as it boosts motivation and confidence.

Be thorough during your interview process to ensure your apprentice is the right fit and will be committed to their role with you as a company. Along with asking for personal or work references, below are some interview questions which may be helpful to explore.

1. Tell me about yourself and why you are interested in this apprenticeship.

2. What skills or qualifications do you possess that make you a good fit for this apprenticeship?

3. How do you handle challenges or difficult situations?

4. Can you give me an example of a time when you worked as part of a team to achieve a goal?

5. How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively?

6. What do you hope to gain from this apprenticeship experience?

7. How do you handle feedback and criticism?

8. Can you describe a time when you demonstrated problem-solving skills?

9. How do you stay motivated and focused on your work?

10. Are you comfortable working with diverse groups of people?

Once you are ready to employ an apprentice, call Major Training Group on 1300 790 822 and allow us to initiate and facilitate your apprenticeship qualification delivery.

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