FAQs for Apprenticeship Network Providers

Changes under the South Australian Skills Act (SAS Act) introduce new, simpler processes and clear responsibilities for employers of apprentices and trainees, apprentices and trainees and training organisations. These FAQs explain what this means for you, as brokers between these parties.

Will the role of the AASN change?

AASNs continue to play a valuable role, as brokers between all parties to training contracts.

The South Australian Skills Commission – through the Department for Education – will continue to support you to ensure parties to training contracts are aware of their rights, obligations and options under the Act and the new Skills Regulations and Standards.

AASNs will continue to be responsible for preparing and submitting training contracts to ATLAS. Once submitted, the Nominated Training Organisation (NTO) will be notified that they have been selected as the training provider for that contract. It is not within the AASN providers’ remit to prepare the training plan for the NTO, this responsibility sits with the NTO.

Once the NTO accepts their nomination, it will be the NTOs responsibility to prepare a training plan within 28 days of accepting their nomination.

Is it all systems-go, on 1 July?

Yes, on 1 July 2021 new application processes will ‘go live’ to support streamlined and simpler approvals for employer registration applications and training contracts.

How long will it take to process an employer registration application?

It is anticipated that the turn-around time will be significantly shorter than what it was prior to 1 July 2021.

The new process requires employers to attest to their suitability against the specified criteria when seeking to register through an online application and declaration. If the employer meets the requirements through this application, it will be automatically approved. If there are any issues, a representative of the Department for Education will contact the employer to discuss their individual situation.

You can find further details regarding the employer registration application process in the Employer Registration Skills Standard fact sheet. The Employer Registration Application can be accessed at www.skills.sa.gov.au.

How will AASN’s know if a training plan has been finalised, if it’s not submitted with the application?

Training organisations are required to inform the Department for Education– Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services of its completion within 28 days, and this will be reflected in the ATLAS system.

What are the consequences, if a training plan is not completed?

In the first instance the Department for Education will engage with Nominated Training Organisations (NTOs) to ensure they understand the requirements. For any failure to comply with the obligations for NTOs set out in the Act, the maximum penalty for a breach of the requirement is $5,000 and the expiation fee is $315.

Does the AASN have any responsibility for the training plan, if the training contract is being varied to include a new training organisation?

The new training organisation is responsible for the training plan, which does need to be reviewed when a training organisation is substituted.

What happens when an employer prevents an apprentice from attending training?

In the first instance, the NTO, employer and apprentice or trainee should discuss the issues and reschedule the training.

The parties should inform the NTO of non-attendance and the reason for non-attendance. The parties may be able to work with the Skills Commission to resolve any ongoing issues.

If the apprentice or trainee is not meeting their goals under the training plan, then the NTO should inform the Department for Education via an online form.

Regarding the transfer fee, what defines a transfer of an employer? Does it need to be employer-led or apprentice led? Is the new employer expected to pay that fee if it is apprentice led?

The transfer fee will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and can be led by either an apprentice or employer or mutually agreed.

Where there is agreement between the current and proposed employer for the fee to be waived it will be.

Where there is no application for the fee to be waived, the employers need to make arrangements for it to be paid as outlined in the fee schedule.

Where the parties do not agree, the Department will consider the application for a waiver and can decide on whether or not to waive the fee.