Apprentices and Trainees

What you need to know about an apprenticeship or traineeship and support services to help you succeed

Completing an apprenticeship or traineeship has many advantages, including the ability to earn while you learn while gaining new skills in a real workplace.

There are hundreds of apprenticeships and traineeships available across a vast range of industries and skills – everything from cybersecurity to telecommunications, disability services to traditional trades.

Did you know that 87 per cent of apprentices and trainees who completed their training were employed afterwards, and 88 per cent were satisfied with their overall apprenticeship or traineeship experience?

To find out more about whether an apprenticeship or traineeship is suitable for you, visit the Skilled Careers website.

There is a lot of information for you to consider, and we’re here to help you access the information that is relevant to you.

When you have signed your training contract, make sure you keep a copy in a safe place, and you should also have a copy of your Training Plan. The Training Plan is agreed to by you, your employer and training organisation to help you track your progress against the qualification over the term of the training contract.

Contact us if you have questions about your apprenticeship or traineeship, including:

  • your Training Plan
  • changes to your course enrolment or employment
  • your progress during your apprenticeship or traineeship, or any issues that may impact it
  • what you should expect under your training contract while at work
  • what you should expect while undertaking study in a nationally recognised qualification
  • what you can do if you have a concern or complaint with any aspect of your apprenticeship or traineeship.

Problems can usually be resolved quickly if you raise your concerns early, either through an informal discussion with the other party or by submitting a formal complaint. Remember to keep documented records of your conversations.

Check your rights and obligations as an apprentice or trainee and ask for advice if you need it.

  • Have you considered contacting your apprenticeship or traineeship mentor for assistance?
  • Have you spoken to your training organisation for advice about your qualification?

It’s best practice to arrange a meeting with your employer to raise your concerns, or you may consider sending an email.

When raising any issues, be clear about the problem you are experiencing and the outcome you are seeking, and provide an example of a situation that occurred recently.

To make changes to your training contract, both you and your employer need to agree. Visit the Skilled Careers website for more information..

If you have a complaint about any aspect arising from the training contract, you can contact us on 1800 006 488 or lodge a dispute via our online form.

  • We will review the details of the complaint and supporting evidence regarding the claims and determine whether or not the matter falls within our authority.
  • We may request additional information from you to assist you with your complaint.
  • We may refer you to a more appropriate agency or another responsible jurisdiction.

We will then undertake an initial assessment:

  • We can provide you with strategies on how to self-manage your concerns.
  • We can talk to you about rights and obligations under your training contract, both at the workplace and while attending your off-the-job training.
  • We may seek your signed consent to approach the employer or training organisation to:
    • clarify the issues you have raised and to discuss the available options or
    • negotiate with the employer or training organisation on your behalf or
    • conduct an independent dispute resolution services between you and your employer or training organisation in a matter.

If parties are unable to agree on a resolution, the matter is referred to the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) for a conciliation conference.

You may also be required by the South Australian Skills Commission to attend dispute resolution services under certain circumstances. Please refer to the South Australian Skills Standard – Complaint Handling, Dispute Resolution Services and Advocacy for more information.

Your employer must notify you if they believe there are reasonable grounds to suspend your training contract for wilful and serious misconduct.

We will provide dispute resolution services between the employer and apprentice or trainee. If the wilful and serious misconduct is unable to be resolved by dispute resolution services, the employer must as soon as reasonably practicable after the dispute resolution services concludes (but in any event within three working days), refer the matter to the SAET for consideration.

  • Either party to a training contract can make an application to SAET if there is a dispute between the parties, or one of the parties has a grievance.
  • Visit the SAET website to lodge an application.

Useful resources for Apprentices and Trainees

Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services (TAS) – delegate of the Commission, responsible for the regulation of traineeships and apprenticeships in South Australia (Skills Infoline 1800 673 097) or email Concerns of non-compliance of the Skills Standards should be referred to TAS.

Fair Work Ombudsman – helps employers and employees by providing advice and education on pay rates and workplace conditions.

Skilled Careers – contains general information about the apprenticeship and traineeship system, including Travel and Accommodation Allowances.

Unique Student Identifier – an individual education number that gives you access to an online record of your training records.

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) – is the national vocational education and training regulator for training organisations.

Australian Apprenticeships – provides information about becoming an apprentice or trainee and helps you understand how to get started.

The National Careers Institute – an Australian Government platform for people to access authoritative and accurate career information.