2021 legislation changes

Learn more about the changes to the South Australian Skills Act.

On 1 July, the South Australian Skills Act (SAS Act) took effect. The SAS Act, which amended the Training and Skills Development Act (T&SD Act) 2008, is the legislation which governs the skills and training system in South Australia.

The skills system requires more flexibility, capacity to adapt to current and future industry needs, and improved training delivery.

Since the Training and Skills Development Act (T&SD Act) commenced in 2008, the workforce development needs of the state, and the training and skills landscape have changed significantly.

We want to see more apprentices and trainees completing their qualifications and industry has told us that the training system needs to evolve to support that.

The changes introduced, collectively respond to workforce needs.

On 1 July 2021, when the SAS Act took effect, new Regulations and Standards also came into play.

These Regulations and Standards introduced some simpler processes and clear responsibilities for employers, apprentices and trainees, registered training organisations, group training organisations and state government agencies.

The Act also created the South Australian Skills Commission, which began operating on 1 July 2021, and brought together important services delivered by the Office of the Training Advocate and the Training and Skills Commission.

The new regulations and standards introduce:

  • a streamlined employer registration process
  • the power, for the Commission to declare an employer ‘prohibited’ from employing trainees or apprentices
  • new supervision requirements that reflect the variation in risks associated with different trades or vocations
  • a new process related to the submission of training contract applications (meaning they no longer need to be submitted with a training plan)
  • a transfer fee for employers, when a trainee or apprentice transfers to a new employer
  • a new process for varying the probationary period for a contract, which applies in extenuating circumstances.
  • broader scope for the Commission to recognise other training, including higher education
  • greater powers for the Commission to require parties to a training contract to undertake dispute resolution.

The Department for Innovation and Skills (DIS) undertook a comprehensive review of the T&SD Act in mid-2019. The review of the Act responded to key recommendations from the Training and Skills Commission’s Skills for Future Jobs 2020 Series: Future-proofing the Apprenticeship and Traineeship System report.

As a result, the Department developed an Amendment Bill to update the T&SD Act after consultation with stakeholders, including employers, apprentices, trainees, industry associations and the Industry Skills Councils (established in 2019).

The role of the South Australian Skills Commission is to:

  • advise the Minister for Innovation and Skills on a range of matters such as: vocational education and training (VET) funding and quality; strategies and priorities for workforce development; and the state's role as part of an integrated national system
  • regulate the State's apprenticeship and traineeship system
  • engage industry through the Industry Skills Councils – to ensure vocational education and training is responsive to industry demands
  • prepare the South Australian Skills Standards and other information
  • provide a complaint handling and dispute resolution service, mediation, and advocacy, previously provided by the South Australian Training Advocate
  • monitor and report to the Minister on the state's role in VET and Adult Community Education (ACE).
  • promote career pathways between secondary schools, VET, ACE, and higher education
  • promote lifelong learning and flexibility in the training system.

Click here to read copies of the complete Regulations and Standards, or click the button below to read the fact sheets that summarise the key points.

Download Fact Sheets

See FAQs for training providers for more information.

Important functions of the Office of the Training Advocate and the Training and Skills Commission are now being delivered through the new South Australian Skills Commission.

Renee Hindmarsh is the South Australian Skills Commissioner and she was appointed in March 2021.

For information about training contracts, call the Department for Innovation and Skills Info-line on 1800 673 097.

This is where you can seek advice about:

  • registering as an employer of apprentices or trainees
  • obligations for employers, apprentices, trainees and training organisations
  • supervision requirements
  • safety concerns.

Contact the South Australian Skills Commission on 1800 006 488 to:

  • learn more about workforce priorities
  • provide industry advice
  • resolve disputes or register a complaint
  • provide industry advice on government priorities.