Pay rates for trainees

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EmployerEmployee / worker

This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system – sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trusts and some incorporated or not for profit organisations.  Find out more on the Guide to who is in the WA state system page.

If you operate or are employed by a Pty Ltd business – you can find information on this topic on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Specific training wages apply for trainees working under a training contract registered with the Department of Training and Workforce Development Apprenticeship Office (formerly the Apprenticentre).             

Trainees paid under WA awards

Some WA awards contain specific pay rates for trainees. If a WA award applies to the work performed by the trainee, but the WA award does not contain a separate trainee pay rate, the trainee is to be paid the award rate of pay for the relevant classification and/or age under that award. 

Do you know what your WA award says about employing trainees? Check entitlements regarding pay, hours, overtime and allowances on the WA award summaries page.

Award free trainees

If the trainee is award free (not covered by a WA award), generally they are to be paid the minimum rate of pay for an award free trainee. The minimum rate differs based on the type of traineeship and the number of years since the trainee left school.

The Award free employees minimum pay rates and entitlements summary publication outlines the pay rates for award free trainees and provides information on employment entitlements for award free employees. 

Attending TAFE or other off-the-job training

An employer is required to pay a trainee for time spent at TAFE (or other off the job training) as normal working hours. An employer is not required to pay TAFE fees on behalf of the trainee.

Visit the Department of Training and Workforce Development Apprenticeship Office website for further information about

Contact Wageline for information on pay and other employment obligations for trainees.

Record keeping

All state system employers are legally required to keep employment records that detail time worked, leave taken and pay received by employees.

Learn more on the Employment records - Employer obligations page


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