Information for employers

Support for employers in managing an apprentice or trainee

There can be several aspects to consider including the terms and conditions of the training contract with your apprentice or trainee, State and/or national regulatory requirements, commercial arrangements and information about the right course, qualification or apprenticeship or traineeship for your business needs.

Information to assist you or your staff to gain new skills or a nationally recognised qualification is available on the Skilled Careers website.

  • General information about employing an apprentice or trainee, including whether this might be the right option for you, can be found on the Skilled Careers website.
  • We can assist you to understand and navigate the different aspects of the training system. Call us if you would like further information or assistance.
    An overview of key resources and agencies is available below:
  • Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) – the national regulator for Australia's VET sector, including international education.
  • National VET register - the official VET register (training packages, qualifications, accredited courses, units of competency, skill sets and Registered Training Organisations).​Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) – the national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education, including international education.
  • Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services (TAS) - responsible for the regulation of traineeships and apprenticeships in South Australia (Innovation and Skills Infoline 1800 673 097) or email dis.skills@sa.gov.au.
  • Training and Skills Register - a state register of employers approved to undertake training contracts with apprentices and trainees.
  • Australian Apprenticeships Pathways - find out about how to employ an apprentice or trainee, who is involved, financial support and step by step guides.
  • Adult and Community Education - community learning programs that support members of the community to increase employability opportunities or life skills.

If you are considering employing an apprentice or trainee for the first time, or you are a current registered employer, we can assist you to achieve a successful apprenticeship outcome.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships are under a training contract agreed to by:

  • a trainee or apprentice (a parent or guardian may also be a party to the contract if the apprentice or trainee is under 18)
  • a registered employer
  • a Registered Training Organisation (to develop an agreed Training Plan).

To employ an apprentice or trainee you must be a registered employer. This means that you must be registered with the State Government, Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services.A step by step guide on how to employ an apprentice can be found here:

Need assistance? We can provide you with information about:

  • Who does what under an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • How to find out about financial assistance and access wage advice
  • What you need to know about employing an apprentice / trainee
  • Independent help and support available to you to deal with any problems that occur during the life of the training contract both on and off-the-job

We aim to help you to have a positive training experience and a successful apprenticeship, so when employing a trainee or apprentice, these are some of the key points and resources to consider:

Training Contract

  • check the probationary period for the training contract as this may differ from other employee arrangements
  • are you aware there are different rules to cancel the training contract outside of the probationary period?
  • do you know how to make changes to your training contract, such as extensions?
  • have you talked to the prospective apprentice or trainee about whether they have any prior experience or formal qualifications?
  • make sure you know your obligations to supervise and train an apprentice or trainee on-the-job and have processes in place to manage their performance under the training contract

Helpful Resources:

Industrial Arrangements

  • know your employer responsibilities in relation to wages, entitlements, payslips, superannuation and WHS
  • have you checked your Award or industrial agreement to know your obligations for the payment of training fees for apprentices and trainees?
  • help your apprentice or trainee to understand your local workplace practices, such as how to apply for leave, use of business equipment and what to expect during the apprenticeship or traineeship

More Information:

Course Requirements

  • have you talked to the nominated Registered Training Organisation about your role in monitoring and supporting your apprentice or trainee?
  • have you all agreed to the Training Plan?
  • discuss with your apprentice or trainee how their course of study will be assessed by the Registered Training Organisation, whether in the classroom or in your workplace.

We can also respond to concerns or complaints you may have about the training system.

Our services include:

  • mediation and negotiation to help resolve disputes between your business, a training provider or an apprentice or trainee to support training contract completions
  • tailored advice on how to deal with problems that might arise from a training program, including training associated to an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • information about the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) process for traineeships and apprenticeships if an issue cannot be resolved. More information about the role of the SAET can be found on their website.

If you have experienced barriers or challenges in employing an apprentice or trainee, we would like to hear from you to assist us to improve the system.


Other Helpful Resources:

Small Business Commission of South Australia

Fair Work Ombudsman - Help for Small Business

Department for Innovation and Skills - Information for Business

Did you know that there are State and national awards for businesses to be recognised for high level achievement and their contribution to the training sector, including:

How can we support you?

Our role is to provide a free and confidential advisory service to employers to help guide you through the training system or help you to connect to key industry stakeholders and gain access to the most current information relevant to your business needs.

​We can provide you with information about:

  • obligations of employers, apprentices or trainees in South Australia
  • the terms and conditions of a training contract, including access to resources and guides to assist you in the workplace
  • how and where to get started if you are considering employing an apprentice or trainee
  • how and where to locate course information
  • what financial assistance may be available to your staff
  • conflict resolution and workplace mentoring
  • mediation services

Get support

Know your obligations as an employer

When hiring an apprentice, you have certain responsibilities and obligations. You will enter into a training contract, which is a legally binding agreement to work and train together until your apprentice has completed their training and you both agree they are competent in the skills required for their trade or vocation.

Employers are responsible for supervising and ensuring oversight and coordination of on-job training of an apprentice or trainee. On-job training must be by a skilled or qualified person in the competencies laid out in the agreed Training Plan. The work should be work relevant and appropriate to the trade or declared vocation.

If an employer delegates or assigns the responsibility of supervising or providing on-job training to any staff member (or contractor), the employer must make sure they understand and adhere to the requirements of the standard.

Find out more information on Supervision

Help is available to resolve problems or disputes with your apprentice or trainee. For the most part, training is a positive experience for both employers and apprentices, but occasionally, disagreements or disputes may arise between you and your apprentice.

Problems in a training contract are easier to resolve when they’re dealt with as soon as possible. It’s important that employers try to resolve the issue with their apprentice directly before referring the matter further.

If you’re unable to resolve the matter with your apprentice, we can provide to help find a resolution.

Lodge a dispute

Whilst we want to see all training contracts fulfilled successfully for the employer, apprentice or trainee, we recognise that sometimes contracts can be terminated when a more suitable option would be to temporarily suspend the contract.

A suspension is a temporary postponement of a training contract for a period of time agreed by both the apprentice/trainee and the employer with a view to the parties completing the training contract.

The South Australian Skills Commission will assess and either approve or decline an application for training contract suspension. It is important to know that suspension must be a last resort.

Examples of when a suspension may occur:

  • for business related reasons such as re-structuring or re-location of the business
  • for non-business-related reasons where the application is mutually agreed, and the apprentice or trainee cannot be transferred to another employer
  • the business is sold or has a significant downturn

To apply for a suspension, an application form must be completed and information and support documents provided.

It is your responsibility as an employer, to comply with the South Australian Skills Regulations 2021, and the South Australian Skills Standards. More information can be found in the link below on what you need to know, and why.

Visit Regulations and Standards

Make changes to a training contract

Find out how you can make changes to a training contract, including all the necessary information and forms. You can also contact the Skilled Careers Infoline on 1800 673 097.