skip navigation

Apprentices and trainees

Employee information on apprenticeship and traineeships

On this page:

  1. What is an apprentice?  
  2. What is a trainee?  
  3. What do I need to know about becoming an apprentice or trainee?    
  4. Pay rates for apprentices and trainees    
  5. What happens at the end of the apprenticeship or traineeship?    
  6. Where can I get more information?

What is an apprentice?

An apprentice is a person employed on a fixed term contract called an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship may be full-time, part-time or school-based.

Apprenticeships are usually in traditional technical trades – for example; electricians, carpenters and bricklayers among others. Completion of an apprenticeship will provide a recognised qualification in a particular trade through work experience and off-the-job training.

What is a trainee?

A trainee is a person employed to undertake a fixed term structured program of training called a traineeship. Traineeships are usually in non-trade related areas and are available in many industries such as hospitality, business and health among others.

Many traineeships are available on either full time, part time or school-based arrangements.

Traineeships typically involve both work experience and off-the-job training. On completion of the traineeship a trainee receives a nationally recognised qualification that may lead to further training and/or employment.

What do I need to know about becoming an apprentice or trainee?

All apprenticeships and traineeships must be registered with the Department of Training and Workforce Development and the contracts are signed by both the employer and the employee.

You are committing to undertake on-the-job and off-the-job training that will lead to recognised job skills and a qualification.

There are many rules and requirements for entering into a formal apprenticeship or traineeship contract and you should visit the ApprentiCentre website or ring 13 19 54 for more information.

Pay rates for apprentices and trainees

You must receive the right rate of pay for the type and stage of the apprenticeship or traineeship you are doing. You may also qualify for other payments (e.g. tool allowance).

Apprentices and trainees get paid for annual, bereavement, parental, sick and carer’s leave, and public holidays.

To find out what the right rate of pay is for you, call Wageline on 1300 655 266.

What happens at the end of the apprenticeship or traineeship?

Your employer does not have to offer you employment once you have completed your apprenticeship or traineeship. However, many apprentices and trainees are offered permanent jobs because their skills and experience are valued by their employer.

Where can I get more information?

For information about becoming an apprentice or trainee visit the ApprentiCentre website or call 13 19 54.

For information on the pay and employment conditions for apprentices and trainees call Wageline on 1300 655 266.

The information on this web page is designed for employees covered by the Western Australian industrial relations system. If you do not know if it is relevant to you, read our information on who is in the WA system.