What is an Apprenticeship Agreement?

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What is an Apprenticeship Agreement?

March 8, 2021         Phillip Salakas

An apprenticeship agreement is a formal training arrangement between an employer and an apprentice or trainee. This agreement is registered with the relevant state authorities and allows your business to take on an apprentice. Thus, at the conclusion of an apprenticeship agreement your apprentice should gain his/her formal qualifications. 

Who is an apprentice?

An apprentice is someone who combines both work and study in order to achieve a formal qualification. An apprenticeship usually will take about 1-4 years to complete depending on the industry. An apprentice can be a school based apprentice which is someone who is completing his/her secondary school education, while undertaking an apprenticeship or anyone who is old enough to work. 

Some possible industries for apprenticeships typically include hairdressing, building and construction and mechanical repairs. 

Who is a trainee?

A trainee is someone who also combines work and study to obtain a qualification in a particular industry or occupation, this could include admin work, child care or IT. It takes approximately 1 to 2 years to finish a traineeship. Keep in mind, you should also have a formal training agreement in place as an employer, if you plan on taking on a trainee.

What is an apprenticeship agreement? 

It is important to keep in mind that if you plan on hiring an apprentice to join your business, he/she must have a registered formal training contract with the relevant RTO. For example this would include a TAFE or another registered training provider. An agreement between an employee and apprentice sets out the minimum wages and conditions for a workplace. Your apprenticeship agreement typically outlines the obligations you have as an employer to provide the requisite training needed for your apprentice to gain his qualification. Your apprenticeship agreement can only be cancelled by mutual consent or, one party may apply to the state authority to terminate the contract. 

That is why, it is important for employers that you register your apprenticeship agreement with the relevant state or territory training provider. 

When should I use an apprenticeship agreement? 

You would use an apprenticeship agreement if you plan on hiring an apprentice for training in your business. An apprenticeship agreement can be used: 

  • In order to take on an apprentice into your business to work full or part time as he/she works towards a qualification 
  • To potentially receive Australian government incentives for hiring an apprentice into your business 
  • You cannot pay someone as an apprentice unless it’s under a formal training contract. 
  • Enrolment for an apprentice with a Registered Training Organisation cannot commence until a formal apprenticeship agreement or training contract has been registered. 

It is highly advisable that you contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider to organise an apprenticeship agreement. This will get you in touch with the relevant RTO your apprentice will attend to complete their off the job training. It is also important as an employer to invest the necessary time needed for your apprentice to properly progress. The employer and apprentice relationship is one that should ensure the development of the apprentice while adding value to the business of the employer. 

To Sum Up

  • An apprenticeship agreement is a formal training arrangement between an employer and an apprentice or trainee
  • if you plan on hiring an apprentice to join your business, he/she must have a registered formal training contract with the relevant RTO.
  • Enrolment for an apprentice with a Registered Training Organisation cannot commence until a formal apprenticeship agreement or training contract has been registered. 

If you need any assistance drafting your apprenticeship agreement or have any employment issues you need to discuss, get in touch with our employment lawyers or give us a call on 1300 337 997.

About Phillip Salakas

Phillip is completing his law degree at the University of Technology (Sydney). He worked previously with Lawpath, and Justice Action. His interests are with construction and technology law.