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Apprenticeships and traineeships

Employment obligations during apprenticeships and traineeships

On this page:

  1. What is an apprentice?   
  2. What is a trainee?   
  3. What do I need to know about employing apprentices and trainees?   
  4. What financial assistance is available?   
  5. What are my employment obligations?   
  6. What happens at the end of the apprenticeship or traineeship?   
  7. 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 can 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 – for example; hospitality, business and health among others. 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 employing apprentices and trainees?

All apprenticeships and traineeships must be registered with the Department of Training and Workforce Development.

An apprentice/ trainee can be full time, part time or school based, depending on the kind of work that is being done and the training required.

The employer and the apprentice/trainee sign a training contract for a nominal term which is the expected time it should take to complete the apprenticeship/traineeship.

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.

What financial assistance is available?

There is a range of Government incentives for employers of apprentices and trainees – visit the ApprentiCentre to find out what financial assistance you qualify for.

What are my employment obligations?

The rates of pay and employment conditions of apprentices and trainees are set out in awards, agreements, and the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act.

Apprentices and trainees get paid for annual, bereavement, parental, sick and carer’s leave, and public holidays. They also have access to other benefits specified in a relevant award or agreement (for example tool allowance).

Employers should contact Wageline on 1300 655 266 for more information on the rates of pay and employment conditions that apply to their business.

What happens at the end of the apprenticeship or traineeship?

Apprenticeships and traineeships are fixed term contracts for a set period of training and there is no legal obligation for you to continue employing the apprentice/ trainee when this contract ends. However, many employers choose to retain the apprentice/ trainee because a highly skilled employee who knows the business and its customers is very valuable.

Where can I get more information?

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

For information about other possible training solutions for employers visit the Department of Training and Workforce Development website or call (08) 9238 2400.

For information on wages and conditions of employment for apprentices and trainees call Wageline on 1300 655 266.

The information on this web page is designed for employers operating in 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.