Frequently Asked Questions

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Commencing an apprenticeship or traineeship can seem overwhelming at first. There’s a lot to understand, but there’s just as much support and advice available to assist you throughout the duration of your apprenticeship or traineeship. MRAEL has over 30 years’ experience supporting and mentoring apprentices and trainees to successful completion with our expert knowledge, information and advice. If you need more personalised support please contact the Apprentice Support Centre using the link below.

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The term Australian Apprenticeships collectively refers to both apprenticeships and traineeships.

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine paid work with structured formal training that leads to the achievement of a nationally recognised qualification.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are available in a wide variety of industries and occupations, including traditional trades and non-trade based occupations.

A Training Contract is the formal agreement between an employer and an apprentice or trainee that outlines the specific details of the apprenticeship or traineeship that is to be undertaken, as well as the responsibilities and obligations of both parties.

A Training Contract must be completed before an apprenticeship or traineeship can commence and are registered with the Queensland State Training Authority, the Department of Education and Training (DETE).

There are a number of additional stakeholders that work together to support employers and their apprentices and trainees. Each stakeholder provides a unique service throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship.

The stakeholders involved are:
Australian Apprenticeship Network Provider
Registered Training Organisation
State Training Authority
Australian Government Department of Education and Training

Some employers also choose to engage a Group Training Organisation to assist with the employment and management of their apprentices and trainees.

The Australian Government provides a range of financial incentives to eligible employers through the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Programme (AAIP). The incentives are designed to assist employers with the costs of hiring an apprentice or trainee.

Incentives available to employers through the AAIP are subject to eligibility criteria. MRAEL can assist your business to determine what incentives may be available by doing an eligibility check.

Additional financial support may also be available to some employers and apprentices.

Yes, existing workers are generally eligible to commence an apprenticeship or traineeship as long as they will not be employed on a casual arrangement.

Existing workers who commence an apprenticeship or traineeship may be ineligible for some Government incentives or funding if they have worked for your business for longer than three months full-time or 12 months part-time/casual before commencing the apprenticeship or traineeship. MRAEL can assist you to determine what incentives or support your existing workers may be eligible for.

Yes, both apprentices and trainees are subject to a probationary period when they commence their apprenticeship or traineeship. The probationary period is include in the nominal term of the Training Contact and is an opportunity for both the employer and apprentice/trainee to ensure job suitability.

The probationary period for an apprentice is three (3) months and the probationary period for a traineeship is one (1) month. In some circumstances, the probationary period for an apprentice or trainee can be extended past the normal duration.

Apprentice and trainee wages and entitlements are dependent upon the industrial instrument applicable to your workplace.

For more information, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or visit You can also speak to an MRAEL Field Officer about services we can provide to assist with apprentice and trainee payroll obligations.

Choosing the right RTO for your apprentice or trainee and your business is an important decision. As an employer, you need to consider the following points when selecting an RTO:

  • Does the RTO offer the correct qualification for our apprentice or trainee?
  • What are the RTO’s delivery methods? Do they deliver face to face training off-the-job, workplace visits, online training or a combination of a number of different methods?
  • What type of delivery method is going to suit business requirements and the apprentice or trainee?
  • How will the choice of RTO affect available travel and accommodation subsidies for our apprentice or trainee? Travel and accommodation subsidies to attend training are usually only available if the apprentice or trainee is attending the most closely located RTO to their normal place of work.

Some employers have preferred RTOs. If you’re not sure which RTO to choose, an MRAEL representative can assist you to select the right one for your business and your apprentice or trainee.

Depending on the industrial instrument that is applicable to your workplace, some employers may be required to pay or reimburse their apprentices or trainees RTO tuition fees.

If the industrial agreement does not stipulate any arrangements for RTO fees, than the apprentice or trainee can be required to pay their own fees. Some employers make arrangements with their apprentices or trainees to pay the RTO fees.

MRAEL can assist with any additional questions you might have about employing an apprentice or trainee, or questions about your current apprentices or trainees.

Whatever support you need, MRAEL has a service that can assist your business to maximise its potential with apprenticeships and traineeships.

Still need help? Browse our AASN Forum or visit the Apprentice Support Centre