We recognise that running your business takes a lot of time, and there’s a huge volume of information about training programs, including apprenticeships and traineeships.

We’re here to help you navigate the system. Find out everything you need to know about support and dispute resolution if you employ an apprentice or trainee in your business.

Our role is to provide a free and confidential advisory service to employers to help guide you through the skills system and connect you with key industry stakeholders.

We can provide you with information about:

  • the obligations of employers, apprentices or trainees in South Australia
  • the terms and conditions of a training contract, including resources and guides to assist you in the workplace
  • how and where to get started if you are considering employing an apprentice or trainee
  • where to find course information
  • financial support for training
  • mentoring assistance for trainees and apprentices
  • dispute resolution services between the parties to the training contract, or between previous and proposed employers in the case of transfer.

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

  • Check the probationary period specified on the training contract, as this may differ from other employee arrangements.
  • Be aware there are different rules to cancel the apprenticeship or traineeship outside of the probationary period.
  • Check the Skilled Careers website to find out how to make changes to the training contract.
  • Speak to the prospective apprentice or trainee about whether they have any prior experience or formal qualifications which could be recognised under the training contract.
  • 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. Ask for help if you need it.

We encourage you to speak to your apprentice or trainee regarding any issues that are impacting the apprenticeship.

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

  • We will review the issues raised by you and determine whether or not the matter falls within our authority.
  • If we’re not the right agency to handle your matter, we will redirect you to a more appropriate authority or responsible jurisdiction. This may include more than one agency depending on the issue(s) raised.

Initial assessment:

  • We can provide you with tailored advice on how to deal with problems that might arise from a training program, including training associated with an apprenticeship or traineeship.
  • We may provide services including dispute resolution services and negotiation to help resolve disputes between your business, a training organisation or an apprentice or trainee to support training contract completions. We will require agreement from all parties to deal with the matter.

Dispute resolution services aims to preserve relationships between all parties and resolve disputes within an adequate timeframe. We can assist you with 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.

In cases of suspension for wilful and serious misconduct, an employer must notify the Commission for dispute resolution services as reasonably practicable and notify the SAET and the apprentice or trainee of this matter.

We will provide dispute resolution services between the employer and apprentice or trainee. If the wilful and serious misconduct cannot 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.

You may also be required by the 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.

  • 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.

It is your obligation as an employer to comply with the South Australian Skills Standards that have been set by the Government. Visit the Standards to understand more about your role as a registered employer.

Visit South Australian Skills Standards

Useful resources for employers

Other South Australian Government services

We can help you to understand and navigate the different aspects of the skills system. Call us if you would like further information or assistance.